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Giffords, others to commemorate tragic day

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, other survivors of the Tucson shooting rampage and numerous others will come together in the close-knit southern Arizona city on Jan. 8 to commemorate the one-year mark of that tragic day and remember those who died.

A number of events are planned that Sunday, although it remained unclear yesterday which Giffords will attend or whether she will make any public statements.

Other survivors of the shooting, including Giffords' staffers Ron Barber and Pam Simon, plan on going to every event that they can. Others, like 76-year-old survivor Mavy Stoddard -- whose husband died shielding her from bullets -- plan on staying home with loved ones who will help them get through the emotional day.

"The whole weekend of the anniversary, I think is going to be tough," Barber said recently during an interview in Giffords' Tucson office.

Barber was shot in the cheek and thigh during the shooting, which killed six and injured 13, including Giffords. The congresswoman survived a gunshot wound to the head and has been undergoing extensive physical and speech therapy in Houston for the past year.

The events planned include a communitywide ringing of bells at churches and by people throughout the city at 10:11 a.m., the exact time the shooting broke out and a series of talks reflecting the lives of Giffords and the six people killed.

During the talks, being held on the University of Arizona campus, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall will speak about Giffords. Other speakers include federal Judge Raner Collins speaking for shooting victim and fellow Judge John Roll, Barber speaking for Mavy Stoddard's husband Dory, and Serenity Hammerich, who will talk about her best friend and the youngest shooting victim, 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green.

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