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Sens. McCain, Flake write feds for support of Tucson shooting memorial

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona have asked the Interior Department to support the creation of a permanent memorial for the victims of the 2011 shootings in Tucson.

The two Republican lawmakers sent a letter Wednesday to Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

Days before that, 33 members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter to President Barack Obama supporting the memorial. The first signatures belonged to Raul Grijalva and David Schweikert, both of Arizona.

Then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was among 19 people shot by a gunman during a constituent meeting in a supermarket parking lot on Jan. 8, 2011.

The senators included a letter they had received from the director of the Tucson January 8th Memorial Foundation, asking for their help with the tribute.

Six people died, including a 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and a member of Giffords’ staff.

McCain and Flake wrote the shooting affected the whole country and that a permanent memorial also would highlight Tucson’s “spirit of solidarity in the face of this horrific event.”

Giffords suffered a nearly fatal gunshot wound to the head.

Makeshift memorials went up quickly outside the grocery store.

(Wikipedia Photo)

(Wikipedia Photo)

Giffords resigned from office in January 2012.

She and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, have since been staunch advocates of gun control.

The gunman is serving a life prison sentence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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