Monday, January 10, 2011

Moment of Silence.


"Dr. Steve Rayle stood watching in disbelief. It had seemed like a stunt, like a prank, but soon there were so many bodies on the ground.

Patricia Maisch heard the first shot, then a pause, then a chain of gunfire, and knew she had a choice. Run and be a target, or drop to the ground and hope for the best.

Joseph Zamudio was inside a nearby store when he heard the shooting. He dropped his packages on the counter and rushed toward the door.

The Saturday morning had begun normally enough for everyone who had made his or her way to the Safeway store on the north edge of Tucson. Head to work. Walk the dogs. Or stop by a public event, where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords would be standing outside the store talking to constituents.

In an instant, the morning changed.

Outside the store, a lone gunman approached Giffords, raised his arm and shot her in the back of the head.

He turned and fired again, then again, then again.

"Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam," Rayle said Sunday, recounting the attack. "There was no place to run."

The three strangers were thrust together into the chaos."*

There is a villain. There are victims, innocent and helpless against a man I have no doubt will be recognized as a monster. And then, like the bightest of spots in the darkest of hours, there are heroes. True and brave and authentic heroes who acted not out of a desire to be on CNN or be awarded a medal of honor or valor. Heroes who acted to save themselves and those around them, and who no doubt turned one of the most horrific days in Arizona's modern history into a day to remember this: Out of ordinary men and women, there are always heroes.


In this undated photo provided by the Green family, Christina Green, 9, poses for a photo. Green was one of those killed in an attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., a three-term lawmaker, who was shot in the head.
Christina Taylor Green, age 9

Mavy Stoddard, with husband Dorwan, was injured in the Jan. 8 shooting outside of Tucson. Dorwan, 76, died. Mavy, 75, believes her husband most likely saved her life.
Dorwan Stoddard, age 76 (died physically covering his wife, Mavy to protect her)

Phyllis Schneck, 79, a retiree, died during the shooting at a grocery store outside Tucson.
Phyllis Schneck, age 79

U.S. District Judge John Roll
Honorable Judge John Roll, age 63

In this January 2009 photo provided by the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, aide Gabe Zimmerman is seen in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Zimmerman was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire at a  event with Giffords north of Tucson.
Gabe Zimmerman, age 30

No photo available for Dorothy Morris, age 76


Daniel Hernandez, went to the side of Congresswoman Giffords after she was shot, and is credited with possibly saving her life. I have no word for how beautiful his actions were in the face of chaos.


There are many more who will be recognized in the days and weeks to come. And no doubt countless others whose small acts of kindness and selflessness for others made a difference that day. The emergency responders, the medical staff and surgeons, the helicopter pilots. The police. The paramedics. The thousands of people across the nation sending love and healing and prayers to those injured and those who lost their lives.

And then there is Congresswoman Giffords, a woman who by all accounts is strong, kind, fair, and brave. A Congresswoman who took the time to meet the people she represents and truly cares.

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) is seen in an undated handout photo provided by her Congressional campaign, January 8, 2011. Giffords was hit in a shooting on Saturday at a public event of the Congresswoman's at a Tucson, Arizona grocery store.


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1 comment:

Kellie said...

To the Teeth....perhaps one of my favorite songs of all time. But too perfect for this situation, which is unbelievably tragic.


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