Follow Up Thoughts on Giffords & Memorial

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting in Arizona, I quickly wrote about what I was thinking then.

Now that a few more days have passed since, here are some of my expanded and more coherent (hopefully) thoughts on the matter. The second half will discuss tonight’s memorial in Arizona, which was appropriately themed as “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America”.

There are so many aspects that I could talk indefinitely about, but of course that is just not feasible.

As someone who is greatly interested in politics and has interest in someday possibly being more involved, this whole thing frustrates me. It frustrates me because Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on your Corner” was something Giffords did to directly talk to her constituents and hear what they had to say. One of the arguments/complaints (whatever you want to call it) I hear is that politicians don’t know what the public wants and/or that they don’t care.

In the aftermath of last Saturday, a few congressmen have already said that they too will start carrying guns for their protection. Furthermore, I read this article earlier that says:

Congressional law enforcement agents advised staff on Wednesday to run and hide in the event a shooter attacks, but as a last resort, police said: “Attack.”

Will all of this scare constituents from going to meet their representatives and getting their voices heard? Will politicians stop or at the very least be more hesitant to hold these “Congress on your Corner” types of events? I certainly hope not.

Moving over to tonight’s memorial event in Arizona:

I found it to be absolutely beautiful.

At first, I was kind of hesitant to the constant sounds of cheering at such an event… but you know what, they deserve that right after such a week. And it WAS more of a celebration… and as pointed out rightfully so by several people — this certainly was not a funeral. Fair enough. I might not have agreed with it right away, but I accept it.

It was great to see Daniel Hernandez, the intern that is credited with perhaps saving the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, receive a standing ovation/the gratitude he rightfully deserves. He was repeatedly deemed a hero, as he has all week. Hernandez, humbly, said he was not a hero… to which Obama later responded with the notion that ‘you may deny it, but we have all decided you are a hero’.

Hernandez gave an amazing speech (WITHOUT a teleprompter or a written speech in front of him). I wish him well in all aspects of life as I’m sure he’s healing from what he encountered on Saturday still also.

Onto Obama’s speech: the speech was leaked as usual, but I kept myself from reading it in advance because I wanted to hear it. I did, however, have it open during his speech. Inspirational, uplifting, genuine, and apolitical are some terms that come to my mind immediately.

The only part he added from the script that was released was the astounding news that Giffords opened her eyes several moments after Barack Obama and Michelle Obama visited her in the hospital today. How amazing is that? Modern medicine is absolutely amazing and it’s so great to see her recovering so well. I would have never thought someone who had a bullet wound to her head would not only survive, but be able to follow “commands” within a day, make movements, breathe on her own, and now open her eyes four short days after such a devastating injury.

I wish her nothing but the best in her road to recovery… as well as all the other victims.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

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