Congressman Barber: "We understand your pain, Aurora"
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - News of the movie massacre in Aurora, Colorado has shaken up Tucson, a community that knows all to well the pain of a mass shooting.
"They're going to have wholes in their heart just like we do," said January 8th shooting survivor Patricia Maisch.
"It brings back the sad day we had that January 8th, 2011," said survivor Col. Bill Badger.
On that Saturday morning in Tucson, tragedy struck outside a grocery store. In Aurora, Colorado it happened inside a crowded movie theater. Congressman Barber says it's all too familiar.
"I think everyone knew this would resurrect some very difficult memories for us," Barber said. "My heart goes out to the families because right now there's a lot of grief, sadness, suffering and tears in Aurora, just like there was here."
There's only a small group of people who can ever truly understand what lies ahead for Aurora. The January 8th shooting survivors have tried moving forward for the last year and a half. They know Colorado has a rough road ahead.
"They'll probably wake up any number of nights hoping it was a bad dream and it didn't really happen," Maisch said. "Unfortunately, they'll realize that it did."
What survivors have learned is that the scars heal and fade, but the memories do not. The memories remain forever a part of their life.
"We know we understand what Aurora is going through," Barber said. "Our hearts go out to them."
Barber says like Tucson, Aurora is forever changed by tragedy's twisted touch, but like Tucson, he knows in time, it will come together and move on.
"Right now it's a city full of shock and we need to be thinking about those folks," Barber said. "But these tragedies shouldn't deter us from going about our lives. Tragedy can strike in any way and we need to continue to do what's right for ourselves, our communities and our families."
Congressman Barber would not talk about potential policy changes he might push in Washington as a result of the shooting. He tells 9OYS the focus should be on supporting the victims and their families. He's also encouraging Tucsonans who want to help to donate blood.