The Star asked readers to share their ideas for memorials or other responses to the Jan. 8 shootings. Here are some of the responses:
• I think a memorial park like Brandi Fenton Memorial Park would be a great way to honor the victims, especially Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl who loved sports and was on the boys' Little League team. The area west of I-10 on the other side of downtown would be an excellent place to have a park with soccer fields, baseball diamonds, festival areas and peaceful sanctuaries for meditation. The park would be a center for the Tucson community, one that I am sure everyone would love.
• We could get the guys who organized the 9-11-01 patriotic human flag aerial photograph taken from a helicopter at Tucson Electric Park to do a similar one, in the shape of a patriotic red/white/blue heart, to show our love and respect for our own. The money raised from the sale of the photo should go to our victims.
• I think the best thing we can do is to address the heart of what caused the rampage in the first place - a very disturbed young man who was not receiving the attention and treatment he needed so desperately. A campaign to educate the public on how to identify someone with a mental illness, and solid programs to treat these individuals is the most important and lasting memorial we can provide. The best way to remember those we lost that day is to do our level best to ensure nothing like it happens happen again.
• I'd love to see a memorial fountain where the current UMC memorial is. Using the recycled glass from the candles placed there now (either ground or as a mosaic), and incorporating pictures or tiles of the victims, the original memorial, etc. And I would love to see the scholarships named after each victim with some sort of emphasis on the individuals' life work or focus.
• I feel strongly that if in the aftermath of the shootings we do nothing to change the gun laws that now allow mentally unstable people to easily purchase guns, then our tragedy will be a double tragedy. Changes in this direction can be made while still respecting law-abiding, mentally stable people's constitutional rights to possess guns.
• Change the name from Mesa Verde to Christina-Taylor Green Elementary School.
Have a plaque on the wall outside the Safeway store with the names of all those who died there and under that a list of the names of those shot and injured.
Have a small shrine or something outside the UMC to remember the victims and the day it happened. ... maybe a moment of silence at 10:11 a.m. every Jan 8th.
• I think a kid's center for civics would be a way to honor not only Christina-Taylor Green but all who lost their lives that day, as it would focus on civics - the subject the people who were there that day were interested in.
• One thing that we can all do is to be more civil in our discourse. Bullying accomplishes nothing.
Mary Lynn Fuller