As Tucson recovers from the chaos and confusion from last Saturday’s mass killings, I can’t help but remember some of the turbulent events in my own past. The Kennedy Assassinations, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, The Oklahoma City Bombings, The 1994 Northridge Earthquake, September 11, 2001. This week the mass killings has brought us together as one, in order to heal from the grievous wounds we have suffered, individually, as well as a community.
As I made my way around town this week, people here are still stunned. Still shocked. Still frail, emotionally. The mood and the tone of Tucson has changed. We’re quiet. We’re sombre. We’re more contemplative. We’re more aware of our surroundings. We’re curious. We’re cautious. But perhaps most striking is the patience and love I have seen in the many faces that make up the Old Pueblo.
Tucson’s leaders, along with President Barack Obama, came together in a striking memorial service last night, to honour the victims of this holocaust:
– U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63.
– Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords’ director of community outreach.
– Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a pastor at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ.
– Dorthy Murray, 76.
– Phyllis Scheck, 79.
– Christina Greene, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary.
And Gabrielle Giffords, US Congresswoman from the 8th Congressional District here in Tucson. She is still in Intensive Care at the University Medical Centre.
We will heal. But healing is a slow, arduous, and often painful process. We ask for your prayers, your wisdom, and your compassion.
As with many events in history, this has proven to be very divisive. The conservative factions, are accusing alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, of having ties to extreme left-wing elements. Many of us here in Tucson, don’t understand this. Why do you pick at our scabs and make us bleed anew? We only know the pain and suffering we’ve endured. We don’t see any political connections here. We see a disturbed mentally ill person, in need of help. We don’t understand WHY this has become such a divisive issue, but it has. We don’t need, nor do we want extreme political rhetoric or viewpoints.
Together We Thrive
What we need to heal is time, mercy, compassion, understanding, patience. But most of all love and prayers. Personally, I have NOT felt the love on Facebook, but have experienced instead political rhetoric taken to the extreme.
Where’s the love? Where’s the I’m praying for you guys? Together we WILL Thrive. But it takes the efforts of a nation, who can put away their divisiveness for a moment, to kneel in prayer.
Perhaps Mahatma Ghandi was right:
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
January 11, 2011