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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Live Updates from “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America”


Obama calls for America to be as good as “Christina imagined it.”


“They (Giffords and Roll) believe and I believe that we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here, they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world but I know that how we treat one another that’s entirely up to us. And I believe that for all of our imperfections we are filled with decency and goodness and that those forces that divide us are not as strong as those forces that unite us.” Obama said. “That’s what I believe in part because that’s what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed.”


“This tragedy prompts reflection and debate as it should. Let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost,” Obama said. “The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better.”


“What matters is not wealth or status or power or fame but rather how well we have loved,” Obama said.


Crowd gives a standing ovation at Obama’s call to not turn on one another.


“Much of this process of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self government,” Obama said. “It is important for us to pause for a moment and make sure we are talking to each other in a way that heals not in a way that wounds.”


Obama insists that, despite his rejection of the title, Hernandez is a hero. He goes on to thank those who stepped forward during and in the aftermath of the shooting.

“We are grateful for Patricia Maisch who wrested away the killer’s ammunition and undoubtedly saved some lives,” Obama said. “And we are grateful for the doctors and nurses and first responders who seek to heal those who have been hurt…we are grateful to them.”


Obama announces Giffords opened her eyes for the first time since the shooting.

“Gabby opened her eyes because she knows we are here, she knows that we love her, she knows we are there for her,” Obama said.


“Everything Gabe Zimmerman did he did with passion but his true passion was helping people…he died doing what he loved, talking with people and seeing how he could help,” Obama said.


“They were fulfilling a central tenant of the democracy and vision by our founders… Representative of the people answering questions to their constituents so as to carry their concerns back with them to the capitol…A version of the government by and for the people. At that quintessentially American scene, that was the scene that was shattered by a gunman’s bullets. The six people who lost their lives that Saturday they too represented what is best in us and what is best in America,” Obama said.


President Barack Obama arrives to ecstatic applause.

“There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts but know this, the hopes of the nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief, we add our faith to yours, that Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy will pull through,” Obama said.


Attorney General Eric Holder read from Corinthians 2:17.


“We know that the violence that occurred Saturday does not represent this community, this state or this country,” Napolitano said.

Napolitano also read from Isaiah Chapter 40.


“We are safer as a country because we have the right person leading that effort” Shelton says as he introduces Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.


Crowd applauds at Gov. Jan Brewer’s mention of Giffords’ smile.

“There is no way to measure what Tucson and all of Arizona lost this past Saturday,” Brewer said.


“One thing that we have learned from this great tragedy is that we have come together on Saturday. We all became Tucsonans, on Saturday we all became Arizonans, but most importantly on Saturday we all became American,” Daniel Hernandez Jr., said.


“As a student and a young member of this city it is uplifting to see everyone here tonight and to witness the outpouring of support from all of you,” said Emily Fritze. “On Saturday, violence reared its ugly head to silence our voice in government but we know our voice will not be silenced and our representation will not be silenced.”


“Tonight we have gathered her as a community to remember a tragic and senseless loss. We are trying in a small way to bring comfort to those whose lives have been forever changed by an act so heinous it is simply impossible to comprehend. One of the characteristics that has always struck me about Tucson’s uniqueness is how a vast metropolitan area.can function so much like a small college town,” said UA President Robert Shelton.


Carlos Gonzales opens the memorial with a recitation and blessing. “I have been fortunate to grow up in this great country where the poor barrio kid from the south side of Tucson can get an education from a fine school at the University of Arizona and then even better to come back and teach here, teach students at the University of Arizona.”


The crowd stays standing throughout the entirety of the Tucson Symphony’s performance of “Fanfare for the Common Man”


President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive to a standing ovation, rousing applause from the crowd. President Obama is standing by Daniel Hernandez.

5:59 p.m.

We are about to get underway here at the McKale Center. Sen. John McCain, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Rep. Raul Grijalva are all currently taking their seats.


Daniel Hernandez Jr., UA political science junior who helped save the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords arrives at the McKale Center to rousing cheers.

5:24 p.m.

UMC medical personnel just entered McKale Center to a standing ovation from the crowd.

4:50 p.m.

University officials are confirming that McKale Center admittance is at capacity. Overflow crowds are being diverted to Arizona Stadium and anyone who is planning on going to the event should head directly there. A video stream of the memorial will be presented on the scoreboard there.

4:41 p.m.

We are live from the McKale Center, which is currently at about 40 percent capacity and filling up fast. UA administrators, Arizona Board of Regents members, and Tucson City Council members are all already on hand. Approximately one hour until the beginning of the memorial program.


According to university officials the order of events is as follows:

Fanfare for the Common Man

Native American blessing – Carlos Gonzales

National Anthem

University of Arizona President Robert N. Shelton

Student Body President Emily Fritze and Daniel Hernandez Jr.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

President Barack Obama

Moment of Silence

Simple Gifts

Poem of Hope – To The New Year

Closing – University of Arizona Robert N. Shelton

2:48 p.m.

Police may be closing stretches of Golf Links Road near Alvernon to Swan in preparation for the landing of Air Force One.

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