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10 years later: Memorial opens in honor of Tucson mass shooting victims

Friday marks 10 years since a gunman opened fire during a Congressional "On your Corner" event in Tucson, killing six people and wounding 13 more.

TUCSON, Ariz. — Friday marks 10 years since a gunman opened fire during a Congress "On your Corner" event in Tucson, killing six people and wounding 13 more.

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among those injured, sustaining a traumatic brain injury she still battles to recover from to this day.

While that tragic day brought a lot of pain and suffering, it also brought the community together, igniting hope and inspiration to spread love and peace across Arizona.

The Tucson community came together for the 10th annual remembrance ceremony and bell-ringing, held virtually this year, at the newly completed memorial.

The ceremony started with a presentation of flags.

Credit: 12 News

“They represent the first responders whose departments were at the site of the shooting and whose actions helped save lives,” said former Arizona Congressman Ron Barber, who is now the president of Tucson’s January 8th Memorial Foundation. “This is a time each year when the emotions of that horrific day come back in full force.”

Barber, who was working as Giffords’ district director was among those wounded that day.

“Today my inbox and my phone was filled up with messages of caring,” Barber said.

Banner UMC’s chaplain Reverend Joe Fitzgerald offered a prayer.

“Creator and source of all life… we pray for healing of our nation and an end to violence," he said.

The sound of a bell rang out at exactly 10:10 a.m., the time when the first of 33 shots were fired, then the names of those killed and those who survived were read aloud.

On this 10th anniversary, we got an inside look at the opening of the “Embrace” memorial near the Historic Courthouse, they’ve worked on for so many years.

A recording from Gabby Giffords exemplifies her strength and courage to move on.

“I’m getting stronger… I’m getting better,” Giffords said.

Her words, showing how a day that brought immense sadness and depression, also brought love and hope in the decade that followed.

If all goes as planned, the memorial should open to the public by early February, depending on the status of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

 To watch the ceremony online, click here

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