Jan 2, 2014 6:32 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Public to get first look at Jan. 8 memorial items in 3 years

TUCSON - The public is getting its first look in three years at memorial items collected in the wake of the January 8th shooting, which killed six people and wounded 13 others including Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

As the third anniversary of the shooting nears, exhibits at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, the Nanini Library and the Eckstrom-Columbus Library will be on display throughout the month beginning on January 4.

Alexandria Caster, the curator for the January 8th Memorial Foundation, is working to prepare the exhibits for display - which serves as reminder of the resilience of the community when faced with tragedy.

"It's incredibly emotional working with this material and it's such and honor," Caster told News 4 Tucson. "I definitely find myself absorbing the emotion that was put into these materials because people were really coming together and boundaries were broken down in a way that you don't see that often in the wake of that kind of a tragedy."

Thousands of trinkets, flowers, hand-written letters and candles were collected at several locations following the tragedy. A massive vigil collected on the lawn outside the University of Arizona Medical Center where victims were transported that day.

Since then, nearly 570 linear feet of material was boxed up as the Memorial Foundation made plans for a permanent memorial site.

"People really poured their hearts into the man-made items," Caster said.

The Memorial Foundation has identified the Old County Courthouse in downtown Tucson as the location for a permanent memorial. It is expected to announce additional details about its plans next week.


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