Local leaders want to give their communities the chance to grieve and show their support for the victims of the Tucson shooting earlier this month.
Groups such as the Public Safety Volunteer Partnership, Veteran’s Foreign Legion, American Legions, The West Valley Veterans Coalition, the Naval Cadet Youth Corps, and Banner Olive Branch Senior Center have come together to sponsor a “Day of Unity” on Sunday to encourage local residents start the healing process after the tragedy.
Jerry Iannacci, a former Homeland Security adviser and the volunteer CEO of the Public Safety Volunteer Partnership, said the after-affects of an incident like the Jan. 8 shooting that left 6 dead and a 13 others wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, impact not just the bubble of the surrounding community, but instead spread much wider to include the whole state and the whole country.
“Our job as a community is to stand behind our citizens, to stand together, and to make sure that they understand they are not alone,” Iannacci said.
The Banner Olive Branch Senior Center is participating in the day of remembrance with a ceremony, complimentary barbecue, music and displays from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
“This is the true spirit of Arizonans; this is the true spirit of Americans,” Iannacci said, “We stand together.”
Another goal of the Banner Olive Branch event, Iannacci said, is to minimize the fear some people still might have. Several of the Tucson victims were seniors, so the Sun City community identifies closely with them, he pointed out.
“Those incidents will happen, but they are not going to happen every day,” Iannacci said.
Call the Banner Olive Branch Senior Center at 623-974-6797 for information and to RSVP for the barbecue. The center is located at 11250 N. 107th Ave., Sun City.