Arizona History Museum creates January 8th shooting exhibit

January 8 Memorial, opens Friday at the Arizona History Museum

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Inside the Arizona History Museum, visitors will find stories of past, strength and resilience.

That's the key word, resilience.

“To overcome difficulty. To overcome hardship,” said David Turpie, the Vice President of Exhibitions and Publications at the Arizona Historical Society.

Their new exhibit 'Stories of Resilience' features art depicting the stories of people we encounter each day.

It also includes a room meant for those who've found triumph when tragedy struck.

"Talk about resilient," said Pam Simon - one of the shooting's survivors. "So many children that wanted to write a note to Gabby."

As she looked through each piece, she remembered the amount of support the community showed. She’s a living piece of resilience after being shot twice on January 8, 2011.

Jan. 8 memorial at the Arizona History Museum (Source: KOLD News 13)
Jan. 8 memorial at the Arizona History Museum (Source: KOLD News 13)

"I have talked to so many people whose lives were so affected by that day," said Simon. "Even if they weren't in town - people have told me they have changed jobs. Changed their majors in college. It really struck something in them."

That day was one where she saw strength in numbers.

"Every candle is a person or family that left their home and came to a place to pray and think about us who were wounded," she said, looking at the hundreds of candles people left in memory of those lost or wounded.

Every piece of the room is a part of a new permanent collection of items from the aftermath of what would be one of Tucson's darkest days.

"They gave each survivor a candle," she said. "I light mine all the time."

Jan. 8 memorial at the Arizona History Museum (Source: KOLD News 13)
Jan. 8 memorial at the Arizona History Museum (Source: KOLD News 13)

January 8th, 2011 was a day Simon would grow and learn from.

"I have much more appreciation and gratitude for each and every day," she said.

In these depictions of resilience of the kind of community Tucson and Arizona have to offer.

"That we're all in this together," said Turpie.

No matter the event - the message is clear, we all can overcome.

The ‘Stories of Resilience’ exhibit at the Arizona History Museum officially opens to the public on Friday, April 19.

Jan. 8 memorial at the Arizona History Museum (Source: KOLD News 13)
Jan. 8 memorial at the Arizona History Museum (Source: KOLD News 13)

The exhibit as a whole will be open through the end of the year, but the January 8th portion will be permanent.

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