TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Friday, the 10-year anniversary of the Jan. 8 shooting, a new memorial was dedicated to victims and their families.
A small crowd of maybe two dozen people watched outside the gates as the memorial was finally dedicated.
The ceremony was not open to the public, but people watched from outside the gate as a bell was rung for each victim, and each victim had their name read aloud.
COVID-19 made the dedication a virtual one, but it was a powerful one nonetheless.
“The memorial was designed with a lot of input from survivors (and) family members those who were killed,” said Ron Barber, a former congressman injured during the shooting.
Gardens and symbols showcase each victim in the memorial. For those who were there that day, this memorial shows resilience.
“The memorial definitely signifies hope, and compassion, and love. It represents resilience it. It represents collaboration,” Barber said.
“Things like this bring people together emotionally, spiritually and psychologically,” said Joe Fitzgerald, chaplain at Banner UMC.
The dedication has been a long time coming, with several financial and construction setbacks throughout the years. Most of the memorial was funded by local donations.
“It’s an example of a community coming together in the face of tragedy and doing something quite beautiful, and not allowing the day of the shooting to represent who we are,” Barber said. “That’s not who we are. Who we are is what this memorial represents,.”
The county hopes to open the memorial to the public in February, but that is dependent on the COVID-19 pandemic.