As we approach the 2nd anniversary of the January 8th mass shooting in Tucson, an interfaith prayer service was held today at the St. Augustine Cathedral downtown.
Many survivors of the shooting, including Congressman Ron Barber attended the service.
Representatives from many different churches and temples joined together in prayer, song, chants, and even dance as a form a worship.
Among those who attended the service was violinist Michael Siegler. He played an improvised tune as people walked into church. For many, Siegler was familiar face.
In the days following the mass shooting, Siegler stood outside the University of Arizona Medical Center Intensive Care Unit windows, playing his violin for the victims and families who lay wounded inside.
Congressman Ron Barber thanked Siegler for his selfless compassion during the service.
"While I didn't hear him as I lay shot inside, I understand he played everything at UAMC to lift up those hurt, from the beautiful notes of his violin," said Barber.
Leaders from the Catholic, Episcopalian, United Methodist and Lutheran church were also part of the service, along with representatives from the Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, and Baha'i faith as well.
At one point, everyone joined hands in a circle and sang and danced in worship just like the "Shakers" used to do, according to one Christian pastor.
The religious leaders acknowledged that despite differences in teaching and faith, everyone ultimately believed the same thing.
They prayed for change, a new awareness, new laws, and a call to action.
"The time for words is over, the time for action is at hand," said Congressman Ron Barber.
About 100 people attended the service.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was invited, but did not attend the service.
Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly were also absent. Barber said Giffords had just returned from a trip to Newtown, CT where she had met with families of the mass shooting victims there.
The January 8th Memorial Foundation is encouraging everyone in the community to pause for a moment of silence and ring a bell at 10:10 AM on Tuesday, January 8th, in remembrance of the tragedy Tucson.
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