Tucson, AZ hit the national news on Saturday, January 8, 2010, and in the most horrific of ways. If you read the news, turned on the television, or just tweeted and networked on Facebook - you've no doubt heard of the victims of a senseless crime at a Congress-on-your-Corner gathering at a Safeway-anchored shopping mart in Northwest Tucson.
My husband and I were out clearing away the outside Christmas lights, straightening up the garage and feeling energized for the new year ahead. We were smiling and having a good time when the neighbor pulled up and shared the news.
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My daughter asked me last night if I was going to write about it, and I immediately said, "No".
I told her I didn't even feel like blogging about Tucson right now -- I was speaking with shock and pain, deep in the tragedy of the moment.
It's hard to put into words the terrible violation you feel when innocent people, going about every-day common errands are hurt and killed. We spent the next several hours in front of the television set, waiting for REAL updates and confirmed reports of exactly what happened.
I can't help but think of the lasting repercussions of this heartbreak. Beyond the most obvious dealings of loss of life, health, and feeling of security comes so many questions.
I thought about it a great deal during a night of little sleep. I thought about the other horrific events that have hit areas of our United States and even the world these past years.
A couple of very dear Active-Rainers called and/or called last night out of concern for "Tucson". The posts I read on Facebook are compassionate, and caring, and beyond finger-pointing and shallow hatreds.
One of the things I love about Tucson is its sense of community. We're mostly a common people with a cheerful word, and a let-a-car-cut-in-during-a-traffic-jam sort of mentality.
Tucson will bond over this. Security changes will be made, answers will be sought and found, and hopefully justice will be served. Somehow the families of this terrible tragedy will continue on.
We are more than this tragedy. We are above generalizations regarding news stories and incidents that have recently colored the media's interpretation of our beautiful City. This act of violence does NOT define us.
My family's thoughts and prayers go out to the family and victims of this tragedy, and more, to the community and workers of this neighborhood of NW Tucson.
We ARE Tucson, and we can be more, and will be more.