TUCSON -- Six rocks for the six people who died. Marlene Phillips set them down carefully outside a grocery store Wednesday, three years after a shooting rampage killed six people and injured 13 others including then-U.S. Rep.
It's a Jewish tradition to leave rocks on the grave of loved ones as a token of remembrance.
"I'm Jewish. It seemed appropriate," Phillips said. She'd brought the rocks from her home, near the Catalina mountain range north of the city. She knew Gabriel Zimmerman, a Giffords staffer who died in the shooting.
Phillips set her head on her friend Peggy Hazard’s shoulder and stared down at the red, peach and white flowers framing a plaque on a rock, memorializing those who lost their lives when
"There's still always this great sadness," Hazard said.
On Wednesday, people commemorated the tragedy in their own way with memorials throughout the city.
Some attended a flag-raising and honor guard ceremony at a library for the first responders.
Others shared a moment of silence at University of Arizona Medical Center, where many of the injured, including Giffords, were treated.
Three dozen people even participated in a flash mob in downtown Tucson to recognize the tragedy.
A day earlier, officials announced a plan to house a permanent memorial to the victims at the former Pima County Courthouse in downtown Tucson. The memorial will serve as a permanent home for mementos left at memorial sites in the days after the shooting.
"So proud of her bravery," he wrote on Twitter.