January 24th, 2012
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Rep. Giffords hugs Daniel Hernandez, the former intern who saved her life.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is a class act.

This past weekend we heard the sad news that Giffords has decided to resign from her congressional seat this week, a little over a year after she was shot in the head at a constituent event in Tucson.  If not for the shooting, Gifford’s life would have followed a different course: she had planned to begin fertility treatments and she wanted to run for the Senate.

Giffords doesn’t talk about her plans that have been put on hold.  Instead, she courageously moves forward, thanking people for their support and uniting us to do more.

While many of us would prefer to see her stay in office and continue her rehabilitation while serving as a member of Congress, that might not be the smartest thing for her to do from a health perspective.  Congressional schedules are grueling and  unforgiving.  I think she respects her congressional office too much to do it halfway.

Earlier this month, Giffords and her retired astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, marked the one-year anniversary of her shooting in Tucson, AZ.  “I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice,” Giffords said in a video she posted online on Sunday.

 I am taking her decision to focus on getting stronger as a sign of hope.  She says she will return and I believe her.  We need more people like her to pursue public service.  She is an incredible woman full of determination and a heroic mixture of strength and vulnerability.

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