The bell rang, sharp and quick, piercing the bright sunlight of a Wednesday morning. Once, twice, six times, then again: 19 times in all, once for each person shot on a similar bright, clear Tucson morning nine years ago.
The hands of Cpt. Lance Cullumber were nervous before he stood up to ring the shining silver bell at a ceremony marking the ninth anniversary of the Jan. 8, 2011, attack. Dressed in a crisp honor-guard uniform, the Northwest Fire District firefighter smoothed his white gloves, resting one hand atop the other.
Afterward, his handshake was firm when speaking with a reporter, but the solemnity of the moment was apparent.
Cullumber, representing the department that responded to the scene of the assassination attempt that Saturday nine years ago, briskly rang the bell as Rev. Joseph Fitzgerald, chaplain of Banner University Medical Center, read the names of those who were killed and wounded.