Jonathan J. By Cooper The Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) – As a pro-Trump mob siege to the US Capitol this week, former Rep. Gabby Giffords could only wait nervously for news about her husband Mark Kelly, who was barely a month on the job from the senator. Arizona.
A decade ago, Kelly ended the excruciating wait for news about Giffords, who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt, such as Wednesday’s siege, shaking the nation and Contested the state of politics and discourse in the United States.
For some who survived the attack on Friday 10 years ago, the violence inside the US Capitol this week is a painful reminder of the day when a gunman with parasitic schizophrenia killed six and injured 12, Which included Giffords, who was meeting with constituents. Parking a grocery store in Tucson.
“It’s often forgotten because we’re in a high and truly vitriolic place in politics – every single one of those people, whether they’re an employee, security guard, member, a human being,” said Daniel Hernández, Gifford’s intern He is credited with saving his life when he pressurized his bleeding head wound while waiting for paramedics.
Storm of the Capitol “was a stark reminder that at any moment we could go from having a congressional event that we all think is held to a different standard, and yet in five minutes we have (the Senate) There were people on the floor, Nancy Pelosi’s office, “said Hernandez, now a Democratic state legislator who represents Tucson’s share in the Arizona Legislature.
The county celebrated its 10-year anniversary on Friday and dedicated a memorial to those killed and injured.
The shooting of Giffords, his staff and constituents who arrived to talk to their congressmen has upset the country following the bitter and controversial 2010 election that saw the Tea Party movement sweep Democrats from office across the country. The Giffords barely retained their seat.
This inspired an extraordinary display of unity. In President Barack Obama’s state address more than two weeks after the union, Republicans and Democrats sat shoulder to shoulder instead of clustering on opposite sides of the chamber.
It was short-lived. The country is more polarized than before. Congress was threatened.
Kelly was in the Senate Chamber on Wednesday when a mob disbanded the Capitol, and was taken to a safe place, his spokesman Jacob Peters said.
“As I waited today for information about @ SenMarkKelly’s safety, I couldn’t stop thinking about what you would have done 10 years ago this week,” Wednesday wrote on Twitter Apparent lawmen were unhealthy. “I am very glad that you and your staff are safe. I love you sweetie.”
Kelly wrote on Facebook on Friday that anniversaries are always difficult, “but today is a different day after the violence on Capitol Hill this week.”
Kelly wrote, “The January 8 shooting robbed our community of 6 family members, friends and loved ones.” “And Tucson showed us how resilient we are and we will not be defined by the terrible action of that day.”
The shooting left Giffords with limited speed on one side and a hijacking, a verbal handicap. She can think clearly but struggles to form words and sentences to express her thoughts. Nevertheless, with the significant help of her speech therapist, she is quite advanced since the early days of her recovery, when she could have said just one word – chicken.
The nation reflected its progress at the Democratic National Convention in August, when it delivered a 90-second speech in support of President-Elect Joe Biden, his longest public speech since the shooting. She regularly gave brief remarks to introduce her husband at key moments in their 2020 campaign.
Giffords, a Democrat, left Congress after the shooting to focus on his recovery, cutting off a short political career that many in Arizona believe included a run for governor or U.S. Senate Will happen.
She, along with Kelly, went on to form a political group that advocates tougher gun laws and works to elect state and federal lawmakers who will support them.
“She has probably touched many more lives in a positive sense if she is able to do so by, say, becoming a senator or governor,” said Pamé Simon, Giffords friend and former employee of the senators. “He has touched life around the world. He is inspired all over the country. He inspired people with disabilities.”
The new memorial, in front of a renovated city courtyard, recounts the eponymous gardens for each of the six people killed and the stories of victims and survivors. There is also a tribute to first responders and the history of Tucson.
The dead included John Roll, Arizona’s chief federal judge, who would stop thanking Giffords for his help in addressing the crush of border-enforcement cases that was overshadowing the courts. Since then a new courtyard was built in Yuma and named it Roll. Gab Zimmerman, Giffords community outreach director, was the first congressional employee killed on the job in the United States.
“Gab was actually my closest friend and he was my person whom I turned away from my thoughts,” said his father, Ross Zimmerman. “So losing him is a problem for me on many levels.”
Dorothy Morris, Darwin Stoddard and Phyllis Schneck were also killed.
The gunman, Jared Luffner, is serving a life sentence at a federal medical center in Rochester, Minnesota, according to federal prison records.
A few days after the shooting, President Barack Obama flew to Tucson to console the bereaved city and nation. In her plea for citizenship, she was based on 9-year-old victim Christina-Taylor Green, who was recently elected to the Student Council and began to understand the meaning of democracy. She went to see her congressmen with a child’s optimism and a belief that public service was exciting and expected.
A decade later, after a rebellion in the US Capitol, his words have a new meaning.
“I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined,” Obama said. “I want America to be as good as she imagined. All of us – we must do everything to make sure that this country meets our children’s expectations.”
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