“IT WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN” Congresswomen GABRIELLE GIFFORDS Staff OverWhelmed…
THE CRYING BEGAN JUST AFTER 10 AM JANUARY 8TH after the shock of the TUCSON Shooting of 19 and the death of six when CONGRESSWOMEN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS and her staff were targeted by a mentally ill young man who fired point blank at the Congresswomen, shooting her in the head and then turning his weapon upon her staff and the crowd. President Obama came to Tucson and in a “historic” address he eulogized 9 year old Christina Greene saying Americas needs to find it’s way back to being the country this third-grader believed in and wanted it to be, many tears were shed that night. After the Speech the healing began in Tucson, says Renee Bracamonte, who attended the UMC memorial the night after the shooting and saying she was barely able to walk away that night because of all the pain and grief present that night. “Then it changed,” she said, the next time she and her husband Greg went, “This time it was full of peace and love” and as they walked through the notes, photos, and teddy bears, we wondered if this could have happened for someone else or anywhere else, “Gabbie has touched so many lives, you wonder if anyone else would have caused the same out-pouring of love and now hope”. We thought this was unique to Tucson,” Renee said. “It’s hard to believe Gabbie has touched all these lives.”Mark Kimble agrees “but there you are” said Kimble, a staff member who was present at the Safeway shooting, he says pointing to the acre of photos, balloons, cards, posters and mementos left by those who felt touched by the 40 year old Congresswomen. “last week we collected all the stuffed animals about 600 teddy bears and took them to kids at local hospitals. Look, they’re are all back–pointing out how the ones removed had morphed into many more as folks contribute to the up-swell of hope and peace radiating from the vigils and shrines that have spontaneously sprung up at Gifford’s Offices at Swan and Pima, at University of Arizona’s Medical Center (UMC) <a href="“><a href="“>where doctors treated her injuries before transferring her last week to Houston for what has been an amazing and hopeful recovery and another shrine, stands at the Safeway at Oracle and Ina Roads on Tucson’s Northwest side where three helicopters landed to treat the injured after the shooting. Kimble says he and C.J. Karamargin have been overwhelmed by media requests since the shooting and said he misses 250 phone calls a day, even though he handles at least that many each day. Two congressmen sent their media staffers to Tucson to help out and another 25 showed up at the Giffords offices in Washington DC and began working for Gabbie and not their Congressmen until the Giffords staff could crawl out from beneath the crush of international outpouring which has moved her story and those of the victims to the top of the news hour all over the world. “It will never be the same again”, Kimble said. “She is the best known politician in the country”. Her communications director C.J. Karamargin is now on a first name basis with Diane Sawyer, Cathy Couric and all the media networks and outlets but beneath it all the staff continues to keep the doors open while Gabbie is in Houston with her husband Mark Kelly, an American Astronaut scheduled to command the final shuttle flight into space. Mark was with her when she was transferred last friday from UMC to Texas he reported it was very emotional as the ambulance pulled through Tucson streets (the route was publicized) Gabbie teared from the applause and cheers of encouragement coming from folks lining the streets who wanted to pay homage to the scrappy fighter Tucson has long known and loved. All along there’s hasn’t been a dry eye anywhere, this traumatic event has scard the community, the nation and the American political system. The first deputy on the scene wept she couldn’t arrive quicker because traffic ignored her sirens nor let her pass, investigators at the scene broke down mid-questions and paused to collect themselves, funerals have been held for nine year old Christina Greene, Gabriel Zimmerman 30, and Judge M. Roll, Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwan Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Schneck,79. Thousands have visited the shrines and attended the vigils, each has shed a tear, you can’t help but feel touched by all the love, concern and sentiment. “Let a new era of love begin with me” writes one, “from this day forward I will…”, another painted John Lennon’s words from “IMAGINE” on flagstone, including “Imagine all the people living Life in Peace”. National Public Radio and CNN both reported Giffords death before learning of their mistake and now have started working to avoid such errors and a listener that day, husband Mark Kelley, said he and Gabbie’s step daughters had to live with that news for many minutes. But when asked what concerned him most about Gabbie resuming her role Kelly said he knew her first “Congress on your Corner” would be held at the same Safeway at Oracle and Ina Roads. Years ago, before her story-book marriage to Navy Commander Mark Kelly, she was asked why a successful young women would want the aggravations of politics and she smiled, raised her beer and said simply, “I am a patriot.” That’s why it didn’t surprise me when an Iraqi War Vet tracked down Gabbie’s care nurse, gave her his purple heart, refused to leave his name, and insisted she deserves it more than he did. It was pinned to her gown. At tonight’s STATE of the NATION Address President Obama and the rest of the Nation gave Gabbie Giffords a standing ovation and left a symbolic empty chair.<a href="“>
GAB GIFFORDS US CONGRESSWOMEN – Images by Phares K. Weis III
Dr. Peter Rhee, one of Giffords’ Tucson physicians, and the family of Christina-Taylor Green, a 9-year-old girl killed in the Tucson shooting massacre, will sit in a box with the first lady. Daniel Hernandez’s the Gabrielle Giffords intern whose quick attention to Giffords on the scene is credited with helping to save her life, will also sit with first lady Michelle Obama and his father Daniel Hernandez Sr, it happens to be his 21st birthday on the day the President of the United States calls him a hero and a Patriot and his father will be there to see it.