By Carollann Scott
No one is ever ready for a tragedy. You may have an earthquake kit at home or insurance for your house but when tragedy strikes no one is prepared.
The city of Tucson was not ready for such a riveting event as that which occurred on Saturday, January 8. That is not to say that the first responders were not prepared because they more than fulfilled their duties on what began as a normal start to the weekend.
As the entire nation and even world has heard, there was a shooting at a political event in Tucson that Saturday. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was, as President Obama said, putting into practice “an updated version of government of and by and for the people.” To you, Representative Giffords is just a name of someone to keep in your thoughts and prayers along with many others but to Tucsonans and Arizonans she is a friend and a leader.
Reports have said that she is improving rapidly and is able to walk a few steps with assistance after suffering a gunshot wound to the head. She also may be transferred to a rehabilitation center in the coming days. Giffords was one of 13 wounded victims alongside the six lives that were taken that horrid morning when a man shot into the crowd.
Tucson was left heartbroken as they learned the stories of each of the victims. Whether the man who gave his own life in attempt to save his wife’s, or the girl born on September 11, 2001, each story is noteworthy and close to home.
The havoc brought upon Tucson has made the city stronger and more unified. Just as the Santa Clarita Valley has been brought together through disasters such as the recent fires or the earthquake of 1994, Tucson has followed suit. Tucson has proven the beauty the city holds goes beyond the beautiful Arizona sunsets it is known for.
Yes, life goes on. The University of Arizona, where the President spoke in memory of the victims, is now back in the swing of the spring semester. Tucson is back in business, but there is still an aura of remembrance among other things.
The feeling of hope remains as Tucson continues to recover, step by step. The feeling of unity remains as organizations just like the ones we have in our home town work to raise money for the victims and families. And the pride of being a Tucsonan, an Arizonan and an American remains.
As a student at the University of Arizona here in Tucson, I know the importance of a strong and unified community. I grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley and have now seen Tucson come together with hope and unity, no matter the circumstances.