Representative Gabrielle Giffords came back to the House today for the first time since being shot in the head at close range last January.
It may be the only positive part of a period of time in Washington, DC, that can only be described as maddening. With only moments to spare, the US House finally passed the debt-ceiling deal worked out by President Barack Obama and congressional leaders after bickering painfully for weeks.
But it was Giffords' presence that brought many of those divided, angry people to their feet. With only two minutes left on the voting clock, Giffords walked in, prompting a standing ovation that kept on going. It was a moment of compromise in our deeply divided House and a moment of unity for the whole country. See below:
Representative Nancy Pelosi had this to say:
There isn't a name that stirs more love, more admiration, more respect, more wishing for our daughters to be like her than the name of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Thank you, Gabby.
Her presence made a difference. Though she was surrounded by her fellow Democrats, she caused Republicans to cross the aisle. At a time when we are facing division like we've never known it before, we needed something to make us remember who we really are and can be as a county.
Giffords has shown enormous courage and strength recovering from unimaginable injury. Her love of country is obvious in everything she does.
Whether she is a Democrat or a Republican, it doesn't matter. She has devoted her life to serving us and her country, and she is a hero. We all owe an enormous debt to her, now more than ever.
She tweeted this to her followers this evening:
The #Capitol looks beautiful and I am honored to be at work tonight.
Giffords' presence was the high point of what is undoubtedly one of the lowest points in our political history. She is a true hero.
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