Caring for shrines

2011-01-18T23:37:00Z 2011-01-18T23:39:46Z Caring for shrines Arizona Daily Star
January 18, 2011 11:37 pm

Tucsonans began four shrines in response to the shooting spree Jan. 8 at La Toscana Village shopping center at North Oracle and East Ina roads. The shooting injured 19 people, leaving six dead. The tributes grow each day as people find comfort and take time to grieve among each other.

• Community volunteers and University Medical Center workers are caring for the tributes left on the hospital's lawn for the survivors and victims' families. In the future, UMC plans to facilitate a community process for a permanent tribute using all items left on the 12,000-square-foot lawn, said Katie Riley, a UMC spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, UMC workers and others will protect the mementos from the elements, including high winds expected today, and will be gathering and covering the tributes when needed. All items eventually will be stored for the permanent tribute, and those addressed to specific individuals are being offered to those persons and families. UMC will announce details for public comment on the permanent tribute soon.

• Safeway Manager Javier Rivas said barricades have been put in place to protect the shrine in front of the grocery store. The shrine will be left up indefinitely for the community to leave tributes.

Corporate officials of the supermarket chain are working with a construction design team on possibilities to build a permanent tribute at the shopping center complex, Rivas said.

• At U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords office, the community and Giffords' staff are caring for the tributes. As long as pilgrimages continue to the site, the tributes will remain there, said C.J. Karamargin, Giffords' communications director.

Giffords' staff began collecting teddy bears and stuffed toys at the site. The collection will be photographed for Giffords, and then some items will be donated to children's charitable organizations. "She would want us to share the teddy bears and other stuffed animals with children who need them," Karamargin said.

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