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‹ 30 Minutes

Ron Barber Embraces Healing- January 8th Memorial Dedication

January 3, 2021
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Ron Barber Embraces Healing- January 8th Memorial Dedication
30 Minutes

 
 
00:00 / 00:34:31
 
1X
 

We spoke with Ron Barber just ahead of the ten year anniversary of the shooting that took place on January 8, 2011, at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson. 

Ron Barber was Gabrielle Giffords District Director at the time of the shooting and was seriously wounded. He later represented Southern Arizona from June 2012 to January 2015. Ron currently is president of the board of the January 8th Memorial Foundation.

Ron Barber discussed how he first got to know Gabrielle Giffords while she was still an Arizona State Legislator. He described the moments before the brief 19 seconds and 33 bullets of the shooting- and its aftermath- including the importance of the spontaneous memorials created by Tucsonans immediately after the shooting.

Ron spoke about creating the Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding while still in the hospital to help fund mental health and anti-bullying initiatives. Initial funding came from a star-studded concert in March 2011 featuring Jackson Browne, Crosby & Nash, Calexico, Ozomatli, Keb Mo’, Sam Moore, Dar Williams, Nils Lofgren, Alice Cooper, and more.

He then spoke about the commemorative ceremony that will take place on January 8, 2021, dedicating a memorial at the Historic County Courthouse created for the victims, survivors, and first responders of the Tucson shooting that claimed six lives. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the event may be viewed on Pima County’s Facebook Page. 

Finally, Barber says that it is not the shooting that defines Tucson, but it is our actions as a community that define us.

The Memorial, which is located just west of the Historic Courthouse in El Presidio Park and called “Embrace,” tells the story of the lives lost and people wounded at the hand of a gunman on January 8, 2011, at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson. Here is the artist statement by Rebeca Mendez.

Ron administered human service agencies in Arizona for 34 years prior to his work with Congresswoman Giffords. He has served on the boards of nonprofit agencies including Governors Council on Community Coordinated Child Care, United Way, Governors Council on Developmental Disabilities, Southern Arizona Mental Health Corporation, COPE, Our Family Services, Chair, Pima County HIV/Aids Planning Committee, founder and president of the Educational Enrichment Foundation and Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

Recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger

Pima County Press Release, December 15, 2020:

Dedication of January 8 Memorial will take place on 10-year anniversary of shooting

 A commemorative ceremony will take place on Jan. 8, 2021, dedicating a memorial at the Historic County Courthouse created for the victims, survivors, and first responders of the Tucson shooting that claimed six lives. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the event may be viewed on Pima County’s Facebook Page

The dedication will include:

  • Presentation of flags from an honor guard comprising representatives from the Northwest Fire District, Pima County Sheriff’s Department, and other first responders
  • Opening prayer offered by Rev. Joe Fitzgerald, Banner University Medical Center chaplain
  • Remarks from Ron Barber, president of the January 8 Foundation’s Board of Directors who was wounded in the attack
  • Bell ringing at exactly 10:10 a.m. to coincide with when the first shots were fired

The ceremony will then segue into an eight-minute video produced by Pima County’s Communications Office reviewing some of the events of the day, an introduction to the Memorial, how it came together and the reactions of some of the survivors and family members of victims who have toured the Memorial.

The Memorial, which is located just west of the Historic Courthouse in El Presidio Park and called “Embrace,” tells the story of the lives lost and people wounded at the hand of a gunman on January 8, 2011, at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson. It features sloping walls that depict symbols embodying the values and interests held by each of the six people who died and the 13 survivors.

In addition, the Memorial showcases symbols dedicated to the community of first responders, Tucson’s history, and the aspirations of the community for the future. The Memorial also features gardens named for each of the six victims.

Tucson’s January 8th Memorial Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 that was organized to fund and build a permanent memorial commemorating the Jan. 8 shootings. The firm CHEE SALETTE, founded in 2009 by Tina Chee and Marc Salette, created the January 8th Memorial following a national design competition.

County officials hope to have the Memorial open to the public by early February, depending on the status of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

 


TAGS
Embrace,   Gabrielle Giffords,   healing,   January 8th,   January 8th Memorial Foundation,   January 8th Memorial Foundation Dedication,   January 8th Shooting,   Pima County Historic Courthouse,   Ron Barber,   Tucson Shooting,  

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