You'll have to excuse me. For the past several days our lives here in Arizona have been turned upside down. Sports, even for me, took a timeout. I've used an NFL games worth though since Saturday. For me, the Tucson tragedy hit on many levels. Tonight, the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to use another sports term, hit a home run in his comments at the memorial service. There is always time to talk about the Arizona Cardinals. Tonight, it was time to reflect on the events of Saturday's shootings.
As I said, this tragedy hits on several levels. First, as a graduate of the University of Arizona, I know Tucson well. I spent four years living in what people like to call a "small, big town". People are deeply involved in the community. For an event like U.S. Representative Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords held on Saturday at the local Safeway, the types of people that attended, was no surprise. People in all of Arizona are very involved in what happens in their communities, as you also see in the rest of this country and that is why this is really a national tragedy.
Many people can relate to individuals who were directly involved.
""In Christina, we see all of our children...so curious...so full of magic, so deserving of our love...our good example" - President Barack Obama"
In speaking about nine-year old Christina Green, President Obama said it all. We all hope to see the same from our children. Christina was an inspiration to all she touched. It so broke my heart when I heard a nine-year old died in this tragedy. That's where another level comes in for me. See I have a three-year old boy, Brady. He is my life. I can't even begin to imagine what Christina's family is going through. I know if it was me in that position, I would be absolutely devastated.
Then there is my wife, Andrea. She is knee deep in it all. Currently she works as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary State of Arizona, Ken Bennett. Before that, she was in the same position with former Secretary of State and current Governor Jan Brewer. However, before she joined the office, she worked in the Arizona House of Representatives as a Committee Secretary. As part of her job outside of the legislative session, she worked in the offices for many representatives directly, including Gabby Giffords.
So as you see, it hits close to home. I spend many a day worrying about the safety of my wife, even knowing she has good security at the Capitol. You just never know what can happen at anytime. This tragedy could have happened to any one of us, just going for a drive to the local grocery store to pick up some groceries.
Even the sports world took time out for a moment of silence on Monday night at the BCS Championship Game between Auburn and Oregon. Everyone feels the pain. This pain is like no other, not even the pain of a 5-11 Cardinals season. I would take a million 5-11 seasons to get back everyone of the six individuals that passed and take back the pain for each of the 13 additional people that were shot.
There is no denying this country is hurting, but setting all politics aside, President Obama gave what I think was his best speech since taking office two years ago. I thank him for his words. We will all remember. Please remember all six of those that passed.
Christina Green, Gabriel Zimmerman, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwin Stoddard, Judge John Roll, and Dorothy Morris. Rest in Peace.