UMC Memorial for Tucson Shooting Victims: A Sunset Visit

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole week since the January 8th mass shooting and attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. In the past week there’s been vigils, funerals and an insane amount of media coverage.

University Medical Center is just a couple miles from my home and I must admit I’ve stayed away from massive heap of candles, flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, photos and handmade signs that make up the sprawling memorial to the shooting victims.

On reason I’ve stayed away is that during the past week, the traffic anywhere near UMC has been crazy, to say the least, and crowds assembled near anything tragic turn me off at best or make me emotionally claustrophobic at worst, and I wind up needing a kind of rescue inhaler that has yet to be invented.  I guess I also wasn’t up to it because I was depressed watching and listening to news updates, eyewitness accounts from victims, and then the devastating parade of funerals, all covered by an endless stream of international media outlets from the Al Jazeera to the BBC.  I’m not directly affected by the shooting. But it doesn’t mean I don’t feel really sad when I think about all the people who are affected, and in the end I’m generally curious and moved by how people express feelings when given an opportunity to do so.  So, Bearbear and I finally got in the car and headed to UMC today right before sunset.

I was a bit surprised (duh) by the (still) overwhelming presence of different trucks with satellite dishes belonging to different TV stations:

Here’s a view looking down from the stairs going up the Cancer Center:

And here are some images closer up:

I wonder who will collect all these things; I imagine they’ll be curated.

This memorial is really heart-felt. It’s not just folks piggy-backing on a tragedy because they need to be part of the drama or stir things up: I wish it were that minor a situation and thus something easily dismissed.

I think I’ll get up early tomorrow and take more photos; I think some of these images might, over time, make for a good paper lamination/fabric project.

Author: Clareannette

I love working and making art in the Sonoran Desert!

Leave a Reply