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Tucson Memorial Service. Live Blogging begins at 8pm Eastern

9 year old Christina Taylor Greene

The victims were:

  • U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63.
  • Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords’ director of community outreach.
  • Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a pastor at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ.
  • Christina Greene, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary.
  • Dorthy Murray, 76.
  • Phyllis Scheck, 79.

This post is for the discussion of the service.

Tucson memorial service helps begin healing process

The University of Arizona is preparing to host a community memorial service tonight, one of many services to remember the victims of Saturday’s deadly shooting.

A memorial mass at St. Odelia last night gave the community a chance to release emotions.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was at the site of a growing memorial on the hospital lawn.

“There is no way to measure what Tucson and all of Arizona lost in that moment. The statistics: 6 dead, 14 wounded in no way explain the depths of this tragedy,” said Governor Brewer.

Obama Visits Giffords Ahead of Memorial Service

As thousands lined up Wednesday for a memorial service in Tucson, President Obama visited Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the hospital along with other victims in Saturday’s shooting attack that left six dead and 14 wounded.

“The president wanted to begin this solemn trip by stopping first at the hospital where Congresswoman Giffords and others continue to recuperate,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Obama is expected to remember the victims and heroes of the tragedy in his speech at the memorial service. The speech is expected to last for 16 to 18 minutes.

“The president will devote a significant portion of his remarks to the memory of the victims,” Gibbs said. “He’ll also reflect on how all of us might best honor their memory in our own lives.”

139 Responses

  1. He pointed a gun at that little girl and killed her.

    • And then he smirked at the camera when they took his mug shot.

      • It’s things like that that make me feel conflicted about the death penalty.

        Some people deserve to die.

        • I decided with the Ted Bundy thing that some deaths weren’t worth fighting to stop.

          I’d feel better about it though if we all had to do “Death Duty” … and as citizens randomly take personal responsibility. I think it’s pretty grizzly to pay people to do it.

          • Bundy is another one. I would happily flip the switch and never feel a twinge of guilt.

            My problem isn’t with those guys. It’s with the cases where guilt isn’t so clear.

          • Yep.

            One of the weird things is that people keep saying “alleged shooter” I get what they’re saying but I think in this case it might make more sense to say “accused shooter” … it doesn’t sound so wishy-washy and it’s pretty much impossible that he didn’t do it.

          • Legal terminology should be left to lawyers. There is no question who pulled the trigger.

          • katiebird, I hear you. I’m anti-DP but when John Couey was sentenced to die, all I could think was “good riddance.” I was ashamed of myself, but I just couldn’t bring myself to give a damn about that monster.

        • His death would release his energy. No thanks.

        • That doesn’t give you (the people) the right to kill them. Feelings of hatred and vengeance, as the case actually being discussed illustrates richly, are the most dangerous we have and the most needful of conscientious regulation and control.

      • He had a black eye in the mug shot along with a couple scrapes. I wonder if he had a
        “special welcoming” when he was locked up?

  2. What time do the concession stands open? I understand there will be tee shirts and bumper stickers for sale. Unbelievable.

  3. I might have to skip watching Teleprompter Jeebus read his speech. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is on another channel.

  4. Good thoughts and/or prayers for all the victims and families impacted by this tragedy.

    • Yes. Sadly we have spent too much time the past five days discussing other stuff.

      • The discussions sometimes are necessary, most times are necessary. I joined in also. I truly believe that those that post here as regulars would not lose sight of the tragedy even as they held discussions trying to make some sort of meaning/sense out of a senseless happening. If I believed otherwise I would not be here.

  5. This is the third time in two years that Obama has given a speech at a memorial for victims of a spree killer.

    • If I am ever the victim of a spree killer, please inform my family that I would prefer the SOS make the speech.

      • or kermit the frog.

      • My entire family already knows that I only want one thing read at my funeral, and it’s ee cummings, not scripture:

        into the strenuous briefness
        handorgans and April
        darkness, friends

        i charge laughing.
        Into the hair-thin tints
        of yellow dawn,
        into the women-coloured twilight

        i smilingly glide. I
        into the big vermilion departure
        swim, sayingly;

        (Do you think?) the
        i do, world
        is probably made
        of roses & hello:

        (of solongs and, ashes)

  6. I’m hearing this from my kitchen. It bothers me when people whistle and yell at memorial services. Guess I’m old hat.

    • It’s weird. But, there’s over 10,000 people in there. So, it’s not really a church.

    • That is bugging me, too. Of course, I grew up in a town where people still pull off the road and stop their cars and sit quietly when a funeral procession goes by.

      • I still do that also. It seems to me to be a small contribution to my fellow man to show sympathy and respect for the family and friends. It allows a short time for reflection.

      • Here in the big city funerals have started to put those little flags on the cars that say “funeral” on them. Although for many people that’s not enough to get them to pull over.

        I’m guessing the little flags were necessary bc the lights in daylight thing doesn’t work anymore, with so many cars having automatic lights that go on if it’s cloudy. But the not pulling over thing, I just can’t stand. I’ve had people honk angrily at me or go revving around me when I do it (same for pulling over for ambulances).

        • With my car, they go on whenever it’s in gear.

        • I can’t remember the last time I even saw a funeral procession on the road. Used to be they were the ones with their lights on and motorcycle police escorts made sure no one crossed through or merged into the line.

      • And Salute you and your family!

    • It bothers me too.

      And while I do pray for the families and I am saddened by this tragedy, I will not be watching.

      • They are trying to make us watch though…all the major networks are carrying it live.

        • That’s why I have cable! 🙂

          • Hurt Locker is on Showtime

          • I’ve already seen Hurt Locker –once was enough, not because it wasn’t a good movie, but I practically had a heart attack I was so nervous.

          • If you ever want to see a movie that will have you climbing the walls with tension from beginning to end, see Sophie Scholl- The Final Days. It’s German with subtitles. Tensest movie I ever saw. And I thought hurt locker was tense.

      • Me either–my husband has it on and he turns it up so loud. I keep turning the TV down–think he’s alittle deaf.

        It just strikes me that with all the noise and air time, few address the core issue–and to me, it’s guns and how easy the ‘unstable’ can get them.

        • I keep missing where the local police that knew about this disturbed guy provided any security for this gathering.

          This was actually preventable.

          President Obama sounded like the words he spoke came from a bunch of speech writers “coming up” with a speech.
          It was the same formula as his campaign BS.
          He does not see the big picture.

      • I am watching Top Chef on bravo tv. I am not interested in watching a political rally disguised as a memorial service.

  7. Damn, Obama needs Grecian Formula really bad.

    • They say presidents get grayer because of stress. Now, I’m beginning to think there’s just some radiation coming from the bunker under the White House.

  8. There ‘s a theme?? WTF??

    Just hearing Obama, my first thought is that he’s not Bill Clinton.

  9. Oh God help us, now he’s in campaign rhythm and is actually pausing to wait expectantly for applause. This is just weird.

  10. It’s like when you bring in a minister who never met your family member and it’s obvious to everyone that he never met the person or anyone in the family before the funeral.

    I will never let this happen.

    • honk.

    • We allowed a “woman of the cloth” to officiate at my sister’s memorial, but she was not allowed to speak OF my sister. She was allowed to do the introductions, but we did the speaking and we did slide shows of her life in the background. When we were done, the minister told us it was the most personal and beautiful memorial she had ever attended. For my mother, no one other than family was allowed to speak.

  11. So far 7 on a scale of 10. There are times when he looks like he ‘could’ be touched…. but then, he just goes cold again. Just talking about 9 year old Christina … there it was again (almost)…

    Then they put the camera on Michelle… now it’s a 6 out of 10… too manufactured (Gabby opened her eyes!…)….

  12. It is weird–almost like a rally.

  13. He’s in his southern preacher voice. No offense to southern preachers, but I grew up with that cadence.

  14. Did Obama just say that Gabby opened her eyes ‘for the first time’ when he came to visit????

  15. Where are they selling those souvenir “Together We Thrive” T-shirts?

    I want one to mark the lowest point in American political culture history.

    • Right next to the ‘Gabby just opened her eyes’ glasses.

      ugh. I was trying to be generous, but really this seems…. so plastic.

    • PLEASE tell me he’s not spouting a slogan. No make that PRETTY PLEASE.

      • Yup. They actually made up teeshirts and bumper stickers. They freaking MARKETED the memorial service.

        • I really can’t even wrap my mind around that. Without having seen it, I can only hazard a guess that that’s one of the most crass and demeaning things I’ve ever heard of.

          And was he trying to infer that she opened her eyes because of him? Is he making the case for his messiah-ness again??

  16. Now he’s trying to take the high road about finger-pointing. Which might have worked had he said it before several days of screeching blamefest, instead of after it became apparent that wasn’t going to fly.

    • And thinking about the role of guns or bullets or care for the mentally ill is divisive.

    • Is that appropriate at a funeral? I can’t watch it by the way. I’m being forced to watch Duke vs Florida state. Game just started, still in single digits.
      I see the pres on the other screen(at a bar) but I can’t hear him.
      If I die tragically, please do not invite Obama to my memorial service.

      • I will throw myself across your casket to keep it from happening. I swear.

        • Well, better across it than joining me in it.
          And no T-shirts to cOmmemorate the occasion in the most commercial way possible. Who came with that idea?!?
          Better yet, just bury me at sea or cremate me in the mist efficient way possible and spend the money on the most crazy wake ever.

      • RD, the pausing for applause is just weirding me out. He’s saying all the right stuff, but the cadence is pure campaign. I’m admittedly biased, though – can’t stand his voice.

    • Par for the course — he *always* pretends to take the high road while he lets his minions run around pointing fingers and calling all the women c*nts.

    • yes–just like he sent his minions out to trash the Clintons’ while he remained silent. It is shameless.

  17. I’ve just told my husband that I don’t EVER want a President in my hospital room. That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.

  18. He never fails to wait for the applause

  19. …thinking back to when he brushed “Hillary’s dust’ off his shoulders and when he scratched his cheek with his middle finger….makes me want to gag.

    Listen to his folksy accent….OMG, it is so hard to stand.

    • Or when his lackeys screamed “RACYSTS!” at us.
      Ah yes, those were good times.

  20. After all, never let a tragedy go to waste….

  21. How long has he been speaking – it seems looong.

    Maybe I just hear ‘car salesman’ every time he speaks.

  22. I liked Daniel Hernandez’s speech best so far. When can I vote for that young man?


  23. Okay – I’m telling everybody now:

    My funeral should have an open bar and a Mariachi band.

    I want the theme to be “Fuck you, I spent your inheritance.”

    • Sounds good to me!

    • Honk, honk.

    • I’m taking a page from Diogenes — when I’m dead, the can they throw my body to the dogs, because I plan on dying & having the last check I write bounce.

      • My goal was to spend all my money and max out my credit before I die but I accomplished that goal a lot sooner than expected.

        *Somebody* told us we were all gonna die from the Mexican Flying Devil Pig Flu a couple years back but she was WRONG so now I can look forward to my golden years in indentured servitude.

  24. Judging by the reaction at this bar, no one paid any attention to PBO’s speech. And as soon as it was over, the bartender flipped in the Duke game. So, now I can see it on BOTH screens. yay.
    BTW, score is Duke 6, Florida state 9.

  25. This reminds me of the primaries when I caught what was going on from the brave stalwarts here who still had enough political steel to actually watch and report what was going on while I tried to bury my head in my keyboard.

  26. I have not heard any chatter about this but I have been struck by the fact that this tragedy occurred on 01.9.11. So we have another national 911 event. Does that strike any of you?

    • More tragic knowing that Christina Green, 9 year old future potential president ( she was just elected to her student counsel.) was born on 9-11.
      I think she may be the part of this event that could teach us something.
      She was the best of all of us. Smart, interested and pure of heart. She really is the symbol; of what we need to fight for.

      • She breaks my heart. I was moved by that beautiful photo of her heading up this thread. That only makes this raucous pep rally campaign event with t-shirts and everything all the more grossly inappropriate.

    • 1/08/11 — It happened last Saturday.

  27. The FOX news guys LOVED this speech. “He behaved (as some of his partisans tend to not) with grace … ”

    “The blame the cheering on Raucous Crowd and the President rolled with it, showed some adaptability and handled it well.”

    Every one of the talking heads LOVED it.

    • Why should this be any different than the GREAT RACE SPEECH or any othe bullshit Obama spews? The establishment on the left & the right don’t like Palin, so they’ll both fluff Obama if need be.

    • The pundits are wrong. Perhaps they are sincere, or just afraid to say anything negative about a memorial speech and look like asses themselves.

      I guarantee you that the vast majority of people found the cheering and the pauses for applause and the campaign cadence irreverent and weird as hell.

      Not horrible, not a huge blow to Obama. But I doubt it helped him any, either.

    • Speaking of the pundits — one of those a–holes on CNN when talking about Obama’s speech started trashing Palin’s from earlier today and said how terrible it was because she was acting like she was a victim and she didn’t mention any of the names of the departed. I’m LMAO — these morons still don’t get it. She is NOT the president, her speech was NOT part of a memorial. Her speech was in response to the attacks that these idiots made against her not 5 seconds after the shootings happened. Just like Obama ran against Palin (not McCain) in 2008, he’s setting up to run against her in 2012. Well, bub, not being Palin isn’t going to be good enough to get my vote.

  28. Give it a few days – if this is really pivotal, it will settle in as the greatest speech evah – I doubt it…. but what are the talking heads supposed to say after that memorial with so many people so sad about their losses – that he sucked? – they’d never say that in a millions years, it’s not very ‘graceful’.

    I think this will be regarded as ho hum like every other speech he gives. He’s not touched, he has no idea who we are. He can’t wait to get back to Versailles on Air Force One… Michelle has cake waiting (but not the kind serfs like us could eat).

  29. Huh?

    From CNN: “At an Arizona memorial event, President Obama sought to console those touched by last weekend’s massacre while warning the nation against politicizing the tragedy.”

    What does he think he was doing? Trust me – he would never have set foot in Tucson otherwise!

  30. Je regrette:
    I regret that anybody was senselessly gunned down by an attention seeking maniac living in a state seething with right wing hate.
    I regret that Gabby Giffords will have a long, slow, uncertain recovery ahead of her.
    I regret that there are families in Arizona who are suffering and there’s nothing I can do.
    I regret that Christina-Taylor Green will not run for office and that her loving neighbor’s last memory of her will be how they gripped each other’s hands so tightly they thought they would break.
    I regret that no one in politics has apparently learned anything from this. N
    I regret that I am so disgusted by Barack Obama’s campaign tactics in 2008 that I can’t listen to him under any circumstances and find everything that comes out of his mouth to be disingenuous and politically motivated.
    I regret that I was distracted from appreciating the solemnity of this event by his presence.

    I hope that there will come a day for the victims’ families when the darkness is not so dark and that they know that we are with them.

    • Nicely said.

    • Well said.

    • Honk to the above except for that “state seething with right wing hate”—not my experience there at all.

      • That’s all I’ve heard about Arizona since their illegal aliens ID law last year. Plus, I’ve got relatives in AZ who fit the mold. Of course, there are exceptions or Arizona would have a homogenous delegation.
        I wish I could say differently but that state’s reputation precedes it.

      • Honk here too, except for the Arizona part. There are some unique issues there, the border region’s problems being a big one that many of us don’t have a truly informed opinion about. I have family there and friends who work there and some of the things I have heard have been heart wrenching. I feel for the Arizonans. In some ways they are up against the wall and trying to deal with it and not getting much support from anyone.

    • Well stated, Riverdaughter. My sentiments exactly.

  31. It will be interesting to see how the conversation contrasts this with the Palin video, or not.

    • I just finished my day’s facebook feed. A lot of ‘blood libel’ bashing of Palin, fawning adoration of Obama’s speech. Still too many Obot friends. 😐

  32. New thread up

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