The entire United States is now aware that a 22-year-old gunman shot Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head, killed five, including a judge and a 9-year-old girl, and wounded a dozen others on a beautiful sunny morning in a Tucson supermarket parking lot where Giffords was talking with constituents. Bagpipes played Amazing Grace at a candlelight vigil for Giffords last night at the Arizona State Capitol. Both Democrats and Republicans are in mourning. Giffords remains in critical condition.
And this afternoon I will attend a memorial service for a woman from my old neighborhood, Ann Schmidt, who died at 58, having lost her battle with cancer. My son was in her husband’s Cub Scout den, and I participated in many of the Scout activities. Our sons grew up together; I took them camping; I have a photo of my son holding her daughter as a baby. Ann was a wonderful person, taken from the earth before her time.