TUCSON, AZ -- They cheered, they cried, they celebrated and they mourned. And for perhaps the first time since the deadly shootings on Jan. 8, Tucson did it as one when the city gathered for last night's memorial service on the campus of the University of Arizona.
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In the days immediately following the massacre at a constituent event for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Tucson struggled to find its footing. As I was told so many times by so many different people this week, Tucson is the "Berkeley of Arizona," a blue drop in a sea of red. So perhaps it was no surprise that the first reaction to the killings was fractured, rather than united with the state as a whole.
[TPM SLIDESHOW: 'We Will Heal': The Memorial In Tucson]
Just hours after suspected gunman Jared Lee Loughner's rampage outside a Safeway in one of the posher areas of the city I toured this week, Tucson Tea Party Patriots leader Allyson Miller struck a combative tone. She had already checked her group's Facebook page to make sure Loughner wasn't a tea partier.
"I think anytime you start suppressing freedom of speech, I think it's wrong," she told me. "I live here and I didn't hear anything [in the 2010 campaign] that concerned me in terms of inciting violence."