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On Tucson shooting anniversary, Gabby Giffords pledges to make country safer

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband Astronaut Mark Kelly (ret.) speak during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Gabby Giffords is speaking out on the six-year anniversary of the Tucson shooting that left six dead and the former congresswoman battling for her life.

On a post written by Giffords and published by the Tucson Weekly on Sunday, the former state representative pledged to do her “best, each and every day, to honor (the victims’) legacy by making our country safer.”

Like our city, my life has also changed a lot since that horrible day. Speaking is still really difficult for me. My eyesight isn’t very good, and despite hours of grueling physical therapy, my right arm and right leg remain mostly paralyzed. But one thing that hasn’t changed is my desire to help and serve others.

Over the past six years, I have thought a lot about why I survived when these wonderful people, who brought so much goodness into the world, did not.

I still don’t have a good answer.

The 2011 shooting outside a supermarket left 13 wounded, including Giffords, who was shot in the head. Shooter Jared Loughner was sentenced to life in prison.

On Sunday, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will preside over the annual ringing of the bell for each victim at the city’s central fire station.

The January 8th Memorial Foundation will host a “human embrace event” at Tucson’s Hi Corbett Field. The foundation is also planning a large-scale memorial in downtown Tucson that leaders hope will be part of the National Park Service.

Giffords currently runs a group that aims to tighten gun laws.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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