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565 Americans 2012-01-26

US Capitol

US Capitol
Image from National Park Service Archive

Tuesday night we watched the State of the Union Address on television. We normally do not watch the speeches; as we prefer to read about the content from news agencies instead. But, this year, we were working on our laptops and no one turned the television off. We watched by default.

Soon the President's entrance procession began. You know, this is where he enters the room and greets all those from his party who are lucky enough to sit close to the aisle. Obama, being a Democrat, received shakes and hugs from other Democrats. If it had been a Republican President, the story would have been the same, except the Republicans would have been lining the aisle.

One of the Democrats sitting on the aisle was Gabby Giffords, the Representative from Arizona. Almost a year ago, Ms Giffords was shot by a gunman in Tucson, Arizona. Miraculously, she survived the gunshot to her head. The gunman shot and killed six others.

Giffords was returning to the Capitol for the first time since the shooting. She was attending the State of the Union and then was going to resign from her elected job as a United States Representative. She vowed to return; but needed time to focus on her continued recovery.

As the President approached Ms Giffords the cameras allowed the world to watch. The President embraced the Representative. The camera was positioned to see Ms Giffords face and the Presidents back. As they hugged, she lit the room with her life. It was one of the most heart warming scenes, we have ever witnessed.

It was obvious that Ms Giffords loved her job and her country. She was a public servant. Equally important, the President represented every American. His embrace was real. It was heartfelt. The embrace was for me, for you, and for every American. The President said thank you to Representative Giffords, thank you from the nation!

Happy continued recovery trails


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