Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Burying the Dead of the Tucson Tragedy

During the winter, My Dear Wife and I come to Tucson AZ to escape the Ontario cold and snow.  While we really like it here, we are not unaware of levels of violence with which we are unfamiliar in our part of the world.  On a periodic basis, we hear gunfire some time during the night, and from time to time at night police helicopters fly overhead as police attempt to apprehend a suspect in some crime.  I have never in 50 of my 60 years on the planet of living in London Ontario ever heard a gunshot in the city.

Handguns and rifles are readily available to be purchased in many stores, and so Jared Loughner purchased for himself a Glock 9mm pistol with an extended 30 shot magazine last November.  This is not a hunting weapon, so he was not going to shoot coyotes.  And so, this past weekend, he shot 20 people in the north east corner of Tucson, killing 6, and seriously injuring his primary target, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  By all accounts Jared Loughner is a disturbed individual, but that does not make any of those killed by him less dead, or the injured less sore.

Many mornings I attend mass at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish, which is also in the north east corner, a few miles away from the site of this tragedy, and although it is not the home parish of any of the murdered, it will host the funeral masses for two of the deceased this week because it is the largest Catholic Church in the area.

On Thursday morning, the funeral mass will be celebrated for Christina Greene, the 9 year old girl who died, a young faithful member of St. Odilia Parish, who went to see Rep. Giffords to learn more about government.

On Friday morning, a funeral mass will be held for Judge John Roll, 63, a faithful Catholic, 4th degree Knight of Columbus, and highly respected jurist.

May they and the others killed in this senseless tragedy rest in peace.

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