TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - For January 8th survivors the memorial is another step in a difficult seven-year journey.
Seven years ago, a gunman shot Mary Reed in the arm, and in the back.
"Every year this day gets so much harder for me. My heart is just in all sorts of different pieces because the lives that were taken and the lives that were shattered are just so much more dear to me. This tragedy created a family of people that I have grown just to love."
She says knowing first hand how a shooting shatters lives makes each new mass shooting more heartbreaking.
Ron Barber was Gabrielle Giffords district director. After the shooting, he replaced her in Congress.
The gunman shot Barber in the face and hip.
He was conscious but helpless as people died around him.
“That's what I remember, and also when we have as we unfortunately too often have, mass shootings in our country my immediate thought is for the families and survivors because I remember what my wife went through, my family went through that morning. They didn't know if I was going to survive, obviously."
It's hard for Gabrielle Giffords to speak more than a few words. Her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly says it's good to have a memorial for the people who died.
"That doesn't always happen and it's due to a lot of hard work from a lot of people like Crystal Kasnoff and Ron Barber and Jim Click and TMC who donated a lot of funds, Raytheon. We really want to thank when for what they did to make this day happen.”
Former Giffords staffer Pam Simon survived wounds to the arm and chest. She says the shooting brought Tucson together like a family.
"The memory of the physical pain and a lot of the early emotional pain has changed. It will always be hard. It's always a hard day to remember that day and our losses."