“Together We Thrive” photo book of memorials after Jan. 8 shooting released todayby Carolyn Classen on Nov. 30, 2011, under Life, Politics
Today at the YWCA of Tucson a beautiful book of 22 photographs taken at the 3 memorials by YWCA’s Executive Director Janet Marcotte, following the mass shooting on Jan. 8, 2011–combined with words by President Barack Obama (given at the Jan. 12 speech at the University of Arizona) was released before an audience of about 120 community members. The book sells at $20, and $17 of the proceeds will be divided equally between the YWCA and the Fund for Civility, Respect & Understanding — to fund anti-bullying programs, community mental health awareness, and to promote civility.
A community panel spoke at today’s release reception with MC Pamela Doherty of the YWCA Board — Mayor-elect Jonathan Rothschild, District 4 Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll, YWCA Executive Director Janet Marcotte, and CD 8 Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s District Director Ron Barber (who was shot twice on January 8, 2011 and is still recovering from his leg injury).
Mayor-elect Rothschild said that the “community was changed forever, but it came together to go forward” after January 8. Supervisor Carroll (who attended 5 of the 6 funerals for the six who died that day) said that the photographs & quotes stirred his emotions, and that it is “bad to turn ON others”, we should instead “turn TO others”.
Photographer Janet Marcotte said that she wanted to “honor all those who were killed & injured on January 8″, and celebrate the community’s response. She thanked all those who had donated their time & efforts to make the book possible including Terry Rich, Sheila Johnson, attorney Sandy Forbes, Matt Russell, and Delectables restaurant for the catered reception food. Janet was obviously moved by tears as she spoke of 6 clay pots with yellow pansies at one of the memorials, for the 6 who died (photo on page 34 of the book).
Finally Ron Barber spoke of that fateful day reminding the audience that Tucson “had never seen such response”, showing its’ “strength of community spirit & unity.” Being a victim of the shooting he said he was touched by the “outpouring of compassion & love” at the memorials, and that he had decided to create the Fund for Civility, Respect & Understanding while in the ICU at University Medical Center (UMC). The 3 memorials after the shooting were outside of UMC, at the Ina/Oracle Safeway where the shooting occurred, and in front of Congresswoman Giffords’ district office (at that time at Swan/Pima).
Books can also be obtained online at www.ywcatucson.org. 30 retail outlets will be selling the book with no percentage taken: Walgreen’s, Bookman’s, Hallmark at Grant/Swan, Antigone Books, Crizmac, Ben’s Bells, Girls Scouts Shop, Hair & Nail Place, Delectables.
Each & every photo & quote from President Obama’s speech is moving throughout the 46 pages of this book. I was particularly touched by his words on page 28: “Their actions, their selflessness poses a challenge to each of us. It raised a question of what, beyond prayers and expressions of concern, is required of us going forward. How can we honor the fallen? How can we be true to their memory?”, and the accompanying photo of colorful butterflies at one of the memorials. After January 8 I spent a bit of time at each memorial and helped water the plants, fix the wind-blown balloons and mementos, re-light the candles.
By our community purchasing this book in tribute to the victims of that day, and supporting the work of the YWCA of Tucson & the Fund for Civility, Respect & Understanding, the questions asked by our President are being answered.