Thursday, January 20, 2011

A remarkable recovery amid unanswered questions

Less than two weeks after Jared L. Loughner allegedly shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords [D-Ariz.] in the head outside a Tucson supermarket, the fact she could leave the hospital as early as tomorrow is nothing short of remarkable.

I first learned about the shooting—and the fact Loughner allegedly murdered six people and wounded 13 others—when I glanced at El Mercurio’s front page after I bought it at a newsstand a few blocks from our apartment in Santiago on Jan. 9. My boyfriend and I did not fully understand what had happened—let alone whether Giffords had even survived the assassination attempt—until we logged onto the New York Times’ Web site later that night. The full extent of what happened in Tucson left us deeply disturbed, saddened and angry.

El Mercurio published front page articles about the massacre and it’s aftermath in the days after it happened. CNN Chile broadcast clips of President Obama speaking at a memorial service in Tucson on Jan. 12. And local television stations also included stories in their evening newscasts.

As we tried to follow what was happening back in the United States, some questions came to mind. These included whether the country’s heated political rhetoric prompted Loughlin to allegedly kill six people and wound Giffords and 12 others on Jan. 8, whether U.S. Sen. John McCain [R-Ariz.] should have cancelled his trip to Chile immediately after the Tucson massacre and whether former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin actually has the ability to decline an opportunity to garner self-serving attention. The answers to these questions and others will continue to reveal themselves in the coming weeks and months. That said, however, it remains imperative to remember those who lost their lives and to keep Giffords and other survivors in our collective thoughts as they continue to recover.

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