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The Tucson massacre: One year later

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 8, 2012 02:54 AM

This is a day to remember the victims of the horrific shootings at a Safeway in Tucson, Arizona exactly one year ago today; honor the heroes who intervened that day; and wish Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords well on her continued recovery.

R.I.P.:

Judge John Roll, 63.

Dorothy Morris, 76.

Dorwin Stoddard, 76.

Christina Greene, 9.

Phyllis Scheck, 79.

Gabriel Zimmerman, 30.

Too many turned the massacre into a vulgar political spectacle from the minute nutball suspect Jared Loughner’s evil deeds were reported. I’ll save assessments of President Obama’s post-Tucson promises versus the “new tone, same as the old tone” reality for another day.

Here’s the story of one hero and the survivor she helped rescue:

She was scared to touch the stranger writhing outside the Safeway grocery store, blood streaming from a bullet wound in his upper left thigh. But he looked at her with pleading eyes and forced out a “help me.”

“If I don’t do something,” she thought, “he’s going to die.”

Anna Ballis inched away from the folding table she’d ducked under while a gunman was spraying bullets into a clutch of bystanders. The gunfire had halted and people were shouting, “Got him!”

Ballis recognized one of the wounded people splayed around her: Gabrielle Giffords, the local Democratic congresswoman, who’d been chatting with admirers on this blue-skied January morning.

Ballis kneeled next to the white-haired stranger, trying to ignore the blood welling around them. Her stomach churned at its coppery smell. Recalling a first-aid course she’d taken, she knew to put pressure on the wound. But how?

She glanced down.

Her hands.

More reminders of the heroes who acted that day. And here’s the story of one of the heroes who jumped Loughner and how he’s struggled since the shootings.

Two survivors reflect on the shooting here.

And here is the page of the Tucson Memorial Project.

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