6 months after, Giffords' staff feels pain daily

'It's a regular workday' for aides a half-year after Jan. 8 shootings
2011-07-08T00:01:00Z 2014-07-30T17:23:10Z 6 months after, Giffords' staff feels pain dailyStephanie Innes Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 08, 2011 12:01 am  • 

Since they live with the tragedy each day, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' staff members will not be marking six months since Jan. 8.

"It's going to be a regular workday. We aren't doing anything in the office," Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Thursday.

"To some there is a certain significance to the six-month mark, for us there is not. We are not focused on that. It's still so sad for us, and it's something we live with every single day."

Giffords staff member Gabe Zimmerman died in the attack, and Giffords continues to recover from being shot point-blank through the brain.

Zimmerman, 30, was one of six people who died that day as Giffords hosted a meet-and-greet in front of a northwest-side Safeway. Thirteen others, including Giffords, were injured.

Giffords' district director, Ron Barber, told a gathering of local Democrats this week that he expects Giffords to return to work "in the not-too-distant future."

"She's doing really well. I have no doubt that we'll see her back in Tucson and back on the job," he said. "We had the opportunity to share some time together when she was in Tucson and I have to tell you from a personal standpoint that I have never been more convinced that she'll be back than having had that meeting with her, seeing how she's doing."

Barber was shot in the leg and neck that day. He returned to work this week, but his left leg suffered serious nerve damage and he requires a cane to walk.

While Giffords' employees will not be commemorating the shooting in their Tucson office, some members of her staff will attend community events commemorating the tragedy, including an early-morning flag-raising at the site of the shooting.

 

If you go

A service to commemorate the six-month mark since the Jan. 8 Tucson shootings is scheduled for 6:30 a.m. today at the scene of the tragedy, La Toscana Village Shopping Center, 7090 N. Oracle Road.

The national 9/11 flag will be raised, followed by a brief ceremony to honor the victims, survivors and first responders to the shooting, which killed six people and wounded 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The 20-by-30-foot flag will be raised using a Northwest Fire District ladder truck in the parking lot in front of the Safeway where Giffords was hosting an outreach event that day.

The flag will be at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., at 10 a.m., today. New York firefighters will help sew the Arizona restorative patch onto it.

The public is welcome to help stitch the Arizona flag until 2 p.m.

Contact reporter Stephanie Innes at sinnes@azstarnet.com or 573-4134.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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