Nearly seven months after being brutally shot in an assassination attempt, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords returned the floor of the United States House of representatives to vote "aye" on the bi-partisan agreement to raise the nation's debt limit. The seeming unwillingness of the political parties to come together and the bitter vitriol surrounding the debt limit debate has diminished the confidence of the American people in the political process in Washington D.C., perhaps to an all-time low.
By contrast, Rep. Giffords (D-AZ) has been emblematic of compromise and bi-partisan pragmatism since first being elected to the House in 2006. Since beginning her tenure, she has been praised by her colleagues and her constituents alike for her willingness to reach across party lines to pass meaningful legislation. So it was only fitting that she did for a few minutes today what nobody else has been able to do in the 112th Congress of the United States of America: unite the House of Representatives.
Gabby Giffords might never be exactly the same as she was before the tragic shooting in her hometown of Tucson, AZ. But through her bravery and sacrifice she reminds us that each and every one of us is part of something that is bigger and more important than ourselves. Through her unwavering courage she proves to us that the flame that is the American spirit still burns as bright as ever. And so long as we are privileged to have a people like her serve our nation that flame will never be extinguished. So thank you Congresswoman. Thank you for not only fighting for your own life but for fighting for all of ours too. Thank you for your courage, grit and determination to rise again and serve your country with such grace, civility and honor. Your commitment to public service is the embodiment of the American spirit.