Remembering Jan. 8
'Do a good thing,' Tucsonans urged at sunrise meditation
Commitment the theme for BEYOND's opening event
As the sun started its morning rise, people gathered at the Tucson Medical Center's labyrinth and centering garden to remember last year's Jan. 8 shooting.
More than 100 people attended the sunrise meditation, including local leaders such as Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll.
“We have lost so much. Let us never forget,” said TMC CEO Judy Rich, while drums played in the background.
“With every sunrise, let us remember,” Rich added.
As the meditation continued and the sun steadily rose over the Rincon Mountains, the low drumbeat was accompanied by the chiming of Tibetan bowls and other instruments.
Speakers told stories of hardships that were caused by the shooting, but also the good things that came from the tragedy.
“Many things happen that we have no control over,” said Ross Zimmerman, the father of Gabe Zimmerman, who was a victim of the shooting.
“We do have control over our response,” he said.
“This day I am celebrating almost 31 years with my son,” he said, as he urged people to ask themselves why they are celebrating. “Do a good thing."
The commitment of the Tucson community, as well as individuals, was a key word during the sunrise meditation.
“Commitment is an active word, and not passive,” said Gabrielle Giffords' District Director Ron Barber, who was shot during the Jan. 8 attack, along with his boss and 17 others. Six people were killed.
Barber praised the commitment of first responders and citizen-heroes, the commitment to faith, family, love, and also the commitment of a community that did not let the shooting define who it is.
After the speakers were finished, more musicians came into the centering garden.
“What happens if a pulse is weak and erratic,” asked rhythm facilitator Sinde Rubiner the crowd as the drum beat started to die off. “What happens if our community pulse is weak,” she asked.
After giving people a chance to think on it, the weak beat turned into a strong and joyful one.
“This is the pulse of love and support that went through the community after Jan. 8,” she said. “Let’s keep this pulse going.”
Attendees picked up tubes from under their seat that were used to contribute to the music.
The events of Jan. 8 were a sad thing, but the community response has been great, said Phil Tully who was born at the TMC.
Tully attended the event in support of his brother-in-law, Ron Barber. The negative things that Jared Loughner did created something positive, he said
This is a big emotional event, said Mitzi Cowell, a Tucson native.
After the shooting, Cowell gathered with others at Giffords' office.
“It was a purely emotional response,” she said.