Despite the recent horrific and despicable shooting tragedy in Tucson, Ariz., and the financial and immigration reform angst that hammered Arizona over the last year, Arizona will survive the continued ineptness showered upon the state.
I am a proud Arizonan and am privileged to call home the 48th state admitted to the Union in 1912.
I am proud of my state and all it hails - from the majestic miracle miles and tranquility of the nature-carved Grand Canyon to the Wild West, where the American free sprit still runs free outside of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Arizona is the seven-year home for this proud Mississippi-born kid and Midwestern transplant.
The nation’s eyes have cried rivers of tears since the recent horrific shooting by the coward in Tucson. Hearing the teleprompter-based television anchors refer to the cold-hearted killings as the “Massacre in Arizona” is a direct missile launched at the keystone in Arizona’s steadfast bridge.
Like many, I am angered by the murders and the negative attention dispersed on this fine state. The shooting follows other demeaning acts and events over the last year including: the murder of southeastern Arizona rancher Robert Krentz by an alleged illegal immigrant, an economic recession that toppled Arizona from its perch as the second fastest growing state in the nation to the lowly status as nation’s second poorest state, and the economic fallout from Arizona’s new immigration law as cities nationwide instituted economic boycotts which have robbed about $50 million from Arizonans’ pockets.
While it’s a rough road now to be an Arizonan, we will rise from adversity and the weight of the world will build stronger muscles to shoulder even heavier challenges in the future.
After the recent Beltwide Cotton Conferences in Atlanta I boarded a plane for the scheduled 4.5 hour non-stop flight to Phoenix. As the plane was pushed back from the gate only one of the two engines fired up. The plane, with every seat filled, sat at the gate for three hours awaiting the mechanics’ knowledge and parts which eventually launched us into the air.
Three-quarters of the plane passengers were riled up University of Auburn football fans headed to Phoenix for the BCS national championship game. After a half hour of slowly-delivered engine updates from the captain, an Auburn booster sprang from her seat to inform everyone that the delay would not dampen the spirits of the fans onboard.
She jumped into cheerleader mode and led the rocking plane into an instantaneous pep rally medley of Go War Eagle cheers and plans to cook Auburn’s game competitor, the Oregon Ducks, into tasty duck soup.
Today, the airplane experience is what brings me peace following the Tucson shooting and other wallops against the Grand Canyon State. While it was a sports encounter, it reminds me of the upbeat, positive attitude of people. Despite the adversities in Arizona, the Grand Canyon State will rise from the ashes as a legendary Phoenix; shedding ill will to survive adversity.
In life, the right people are placed at the right time to help overcome challenges. The United States is the greatest country in the world, thanks to its ongoing freedoms paid daily by our men and women in military service.
We are a land of heroes which cast shadows over the cowardly.