I am proud to be a Tucsonan

In the midst of this horrible tragedy...the past few days I have woken up in the morning first with a sense of fear, quickly followed by a sense of pride and admiration.

(*Side note...Obviously you the viewer reading this in January or 2011 knows what happened and all of the turn of events. I am writing this for my own good....so that 20 or 50 years down the road, I can re-read this entry, or show it to my kids)

Saturday morning was a regular morning in the Hibsman/Wilson house. I got up around 9am to keep Brooklyn company downstairs and watch a few recorded shows of Modern Family on the DVR. Bradley was sick all weekend, so he slept in until around 11. We finally got our act together and headed down to campus so that he could buy his text books and we could grab lunch. As we were just getting out of the car to head to the Union, we faintly heard the news over the radio. I don't think either of us were really paying attention. All we heard is that Gabby Giffords was shot.

Then I started receiving texts from my dad, friends, mom, etc asking if we were ok, and where we were in relation to what was happening.

We ate lunch at a little vietnamese place down on University - where I asked the manager if he could change the channel from the 'asian music videos channel' to something like CNN. He said "ya, we had that on earlier, but then it was just getting too depressing" Nice...you don't want to watch the events that are totally rocking our country unfold right now because it's 'too depressing'

So there we sat. Eating Pho and watching the TV, then listening to the news in car all afternoon while running errands. Running errands IN THE SAME TOWN where some naive heartless scumbag woke up that morning, and in his is pea-brain of a head decided to load a glock with 31 rounds and an extra magazine clip and open fire on innocent by-standers at a 'town-hall' event. Just 15 minutes from our house...in an instant....he took 6 lives, wounded 13 others, and scarred the lives of all who either knew the victims, knew someone who knew the victims, or anyone in this country who simply HAS A SOUL.

The police chief was very hesitant to release the names of the deceased victims. I think that through all this mayhem, Tucson authorities were sincerely trying to safe-guard our community from any more hurt and more national attention. This is Tucson, Arizona, for god's sake. Where hippies and intellectuals collide, where locals and immigrants can come together over a juicy sonoran dog, where native americans meet hispanics, where the University is the heart beat of the community, where you can walk around downtown in your bare feet beating your bongo drum and no one thinks twice about it, where meeting people that have lived here their whole lives is more common than not...where there is only one degree of separation between you and the person in line behind you at the coffee shop....

I digress....

Brad had mentioned that Giffords had attended University High School (Brad's alma mater) and therefore she had several UHS grads on her staff. He could only think of a couple that he knew...one of them being Gabe Zimmerman.

A few hours later, Gabe's name was released as one of the 6 who didn't make it out alive. Thirty years old...recently engaged to be married. Some of his former classmates put together an impromptu vigil outside of UHS, so we attended with one of Brad's friends/co-workers.

News crews showed up, doing the standard "I'm sorry for your loss, can you come on camera and share a few thoughts about Gabe?" We listened to a few of Gabe's closest friends share some words, then just as quietly as we arrived, we left...leaving notes, candles and flowers as sweet memories.

After dinner (which oddly enough was Pho again), we headed to University Medical Center to see the vigil that had started earlier that day. By the time we arrived, there were only about 20 or so people left. But - the media presence was overwhelming.

I have been glued to the latest updates and breaking news that they are still finding out about the event. I can't get enough of it, I want to know more about the victims, the survivors, and even the killer himself.

More later...but in the mean time, watch this clip. I have watched it at least 5 times already.

Arizona Shootings Reaction
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