Friday, January 21, 2011

Tucson Memorial

Laura and I were in the University of Arizona area on Tuesday, Jan. 11, so we decided to check out the memorial at the University Medical Center, about half a mile from the main campus.

There was a continuous stream of people to the area.

Three days after the shooting, the memorial was already quite sizable.  People brought the usual icons to place on the ground:  candles, flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, cards, pictures, posters.  Notice the satellite truck in the background.  The massacre created a full-fledged media frenzy, and there must have been a couple dozen satellite trucks parked in front of the hospital.

Close-up of the memorial.  Being there was a surprisingly emotional experience for me.  Was it just me?  Perhaps.  Was it the vibe caused by the focused energy of thousands of people?  Quite possibly.  In either case, there was no way for me to tell.  I think our human boundaries are more arbitrary, and more permeable, than we commonly suppose.

Another view.  After three days, there were already upwards of 1000 candles there.  According to the Tucson newspaper, the shrine has grown "exponentially" since I was there.  There is also a memorial in front of Congresswoman Giffords' office, and one at the scene of the shooting.

Stop it!  A message for the powers-that-be.

The memorial from the other side.  The crowd had grown a bit from the time we first arrived.  I would assume that this memorial, and the one in front of Giffords' office, will eventually be dismantled, but the one at the shopping center will be there indefinitely, because that's where the killings took place.

There were posters for all of the victims.  The media went to great lengths to acknowledge the low-profile victims.

Good Bless Tucson.  A worthy sentiment for any town.

There were several media encampments, with all their equipment and sun diffusers.  Notice the newsman wearing a suit coat and jeans, because the camera would only be aimed at the top of him.

It was hard photographing the satellite trucks, because they were so spread out.  Here are a few of them.