Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has announced she will attend a candlelight vigil at the University of Arizona on the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of six people and wounded 13 others including the congresswoman.
The ceremony is one of many scheduled in the Tucson area this weekend, and part of a "community-wide effort that will commemorate the first anniversary of the tragic day in 2011, when U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and eighteen other citizens were shot during a public constituent event held at a Tucson shopping center," according to the "Remembering January 8" organization.
A media statement issued by Giffords office said she and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, will participate in the event. Kelly retired from NASA and the United States Navy in June, and is expected to speak at Sunday night's ceremony.
The candlelight vigil will honor those who survived the horrific shooting and remember the six people who lost their lives at the Tucson Safeway on January 8, 2011.
"Congresswoman Giffords wanted to be back in Tucson for this very emotional weekend,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff. “She felt it was important to be in her hometown with her family, staff members and a few close friends.”
Giffords has been undergoing speech and physical therapy in Houston since she was shot in the head by Jared Lee Loughner last year. She returned to Washington in August to cast a vote in favor of a bill that would raise the nation's debt ceiling. Her unannounced appearance was greeted by thunderous applause, tears, embraces and handshakes from her fellow congressmen.
Her trip to Tucson will be her fourth visit since the tragic shooting occurred.