Gabrielle Giffords says goodbye to constituents

Print
Email
|

by Kristine Harrington

Posted on January 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 24 at 9:31 AM

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Gabby Giffords has come full circle.

As one of her final acts as a congresswoman, Giffords, in Tucson this morning, met with the surviving participants of her fated “congress on your corner”event, this on the heels of announcing her resignation via video.

“A lot has happened this past year,” said Giffords reflecting on a trying year. “I'm getting better.”

And so are the other survivors...

“We were all people part of the political process and came out to meet our congresswoman,” said Susan Hileman, shot three times while trying to protect her neighbor 9 year old Christina Taylor Green.

But that "congress on your corner event" hosted by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was interrupted by gunfire that killed 6 people and injured 13.

And before leaving office Representative Giffords decided to bring the survivors together and finish that event they started one year ago.

“We have struck up a wonderful bond we're tired together forever,” said Hileman. ““I told her how much I looked forward to bringing Christina to her and the sparks and the magic that would have been there.”

Sadly Christina died before they had a chance to meet.

“I told Gabrielle, they were both excited about the same kinds of things and she looked at me and we shrugged we can't bring back what is taken away but we can move forward with a smile.”

Fellow survivor Patricia Maisch, who restled a magazine of bullets away from the shooter, also had a chance to visit with the Congresswoman.

“This was just an opportunity for her to meet us and thank us for being there and to express her thanks for our actions,” said Maisch.

In her video the congresswoman says, “I don't remember much from that horrible day but I will never forget the trust you put in me to be your voice.”

The Congresswoman making one more official stop here in Tucson, visiting "The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona" before heading back East.

It’s the same charity that received more than 325 thousand dollars in donations in Gabby's name following the shooting.

“It's a bitter sweet day,” said The Food Bank’s CEO Bill Carnegie. “It's a wonderful thing she gets to come see this center we built for her it's also her exit from congress.”

But these supporters hope it's only a temporary departure.

“I'm waiting to have my gabby button for whatever she runs for next,” said Hileman.

Gabrielle Giffords herself optimistic that she will be back.

“I will return. We will work together for Arizona and this great country.”

Giffords who will officially step down from office this week will be at the State of the Union Tuesday night. Her husband Mark Kelly will also be in attendance, the special guest of the President, seated near the First Lady.
 
 

Print
Email
|