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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Jan. 8 memorial materials moved

More than 240 boxes of collected materials left to honor the victims of the Jan. 8 shooting were relocated to an air-conditioned storage facility on Tuesday.

The materials include flowers, vases, candles, messages, flags and other items, all of which were left as a shrine in front of the University of Arizona Medical Center–University Campus to honor the victims. The materials were moved from the shrine to a storage room in a parking garage, and then to an air-conditioned unit at Dollar Storage, which donated the space.

The materials will remain safe in the storage unit while members of the community decide what to do with them.

“We’ve been happy to store these boxes,” said medical center spokeswoman Katie Riley. “But we felt that some of the items really need to be preserved and they really need to be in an air-conditioned facility.”

A permanent memorial is also in the planning process, and Mark Kimble, a spokesperson for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office, is encouraging members of the Tucson community to express their opinions about what the memorial should include. But with the project still in the planning stages, Kimble also said it will be a while.

“To do something really appropriate and fitting and something the community will love and really appreciate forever obviously takes a long time,” Kimble said.

The materials are now being safely stored at no cost in a temperature-controlled unit at Dollar Storage on North Dragoon Road.

“That’s what Dollar Storage is all about, is being able to help give back to the community,” said Kitty Neubauer, the facility’s manager. “Our hearts went out when the disaster happened, and so we decided to give them a call and see if there was any way we could help.”

Dollar Storage is willing to store the materials for as long as it takes the community to decide what will happen to them.

According to a press release from UMC, the Institute for Civility, Respect and Understanding will lead community discussions on the final location for the mementos. The institute was founded by the family of Ron Barber, a Giffords aide and survivor of the shooting.

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