Remembering Jan. 8
Friends, colleagues reflect on lives of the fallen
Young girls talk of losing their best friend
Friends, colleagues and clergy spoke on behalf of the six people who were killed on Jan. 8, 2011, at Centennial Hall in the Reflections ceremony on Sunday.
"We lost a good one on Jan. 8, 2011, we lost some good ones,” the Rev. Andrew Ross, pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church, said.
Ross’s attire stood out among the formal wear on stage. Over his suit and tie he wore a colorful, dachshund-covered apron.
“I understand it’s manly to barbeque but sometimes when I barbeque with this on, I’m weeping,” Ross said.
The apron was made “specially for me” by Phyllis Schneck, Ross said.
“When I wear this apron I remember a dear woman who had such a warm heart,” he said.
Shneck was a victim of the shooting as well as a member of Ross’ congregation.
“We refuse to let this tragic day define us,” Pat Maisch said. Maisch is considered one of the heroes of Jan. 8.
Maisch acknowledged the efforts of citizens who helped at the scene and small businesses that donated food and funds to the victims.
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., a Tucson native and son of the late U.S. Rep. Morris Udall, spoke for Gabrielle Giffords. He said she is a cowgirl, a biker chick, a Fulbright scholar, the wife of an astronaut and a bridge builder.
He called on fellow legislators to reach out to one another despite party differences.
“Put aside your differences and play for the red, white and blue,” Udall said.
The last two people to take the stage spoke neither of Safeway nor politics.
Serenity Hammrich and Jamie Stone, both 10, told the story of an unbreakable friendship with Christina-Taylor Green, who was 9 when she was fatally shot.
“She wasn’t afraid of boys, or sports, or anything,” Hammrich said.
The girls were fond of cheerleading, Taylor Swift, playing at the park, chasing “roly poly” (pill bugs), and searching for four-leaf clovers.
“Four-leaf clovers are good luck, one-leaf clovers are bad luck, but if we both find a two-leaf clover and put them together that is the best luck of all,” Stone said.
“I want everyone to understand that Christina was one in a million,” Hammrich said.
Even though she is gone, she said Christina would want them to focus on helping others and following their dreams.
“Like two-leaf clovers we are best friends for eternity,” Hammrich said.
Other speakers included Brandon Nelson, grandson of Dorothy Morris; Judge Raner Collins, friend and colleague of Judge John Roll, Ron Barber for Dorwan Stoddard, and Dr. Lattie Coor, who spoke for Gabe Zimmerman.
Tucson's Dr. Richard Carmona, U.S. Senate candidate and former surgeon general of the United States, was the master of ceremonies.