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Steve C.
Democrat TN 9

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  • The Class of 2006 Fondly Pays Tribute to Gabby Giffords

    by Representative Steve Cohen

    Posted on 2014-01-08

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    COHEN. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the colleagues that have joined me today for our 30-minute Special Order, and this is a special Special Order.



    This Special Order is particularly relevant because this is the third anniversary of the shooting in Tucson that took six lives and injured 13 people, including our colleague, Gabby Giffords. And when I say ``our colleague,'' it is our colleague of all of us here in the House of Representatives, but as a member of the class of '06 of which Representative Giffords is, we take special significance in this day because she was one of our prized Members. We all loved her, and we all miss her.

    The class of '06 is a close class, and we are joined here by one of the presidents of the class of '06, Mr. Yarmuth, and Mr. Perlmutter, an active member of the class of '06, and there will be other members here, as well.

    We want to express our remembrances of Gabby, and particularly the article that she wrote that is in today's New York Times, an op-ed called ``The Lessons of Physical Therapy.'' It is a very touching article that talks about her recovery and her indomitable spirit where she tells about her exercises every day to get back her strength and to be able to recover speech and physical mobility. Today, in fact, she skydived.

    She is a great spirit who has not let the problems that she has experienced limit her in any ways more than they have, and she is trying to overcome these obstacles and teach people that they can overcome obstacles. She left the House after serving 5 years as a great colleague and coming back here on August the 1 of 2011 in what was a very memorable moment on this floor to vote on the debt ceiling, which was a close vote, and came back in case her vote was needed. And on that day, I was out at the airport greeting a very close person in my life and coincidentally was there when she came off the airplane. I saw Gabby and was able to see her for the first time since the January 8 incident.

    Then she was on the floor and of course we all got to see her. But she came back and made that effort, and she thought about how can she contribute more. And after Newtown, she knew that she could contribute more by starting an organization with her great husband, Captain Mark Kelly, Responsible Solutions, on firearms and gun laws. She tried to really lead the effort and to make America's laws more sensible, to save other people from the tragedy that she experienced as did the six victims that day that died and the others that were injured, including Congressman Barber, who led us in a moment of silence earlier today on the floor with the members of the Arizona delegation.

    So we wanted to remember that day which is significant. It is a significant day in congressional history and American history because that was an assault on Congresspeople meeting with their constituents, open government, democratic form of government and meeting and listening. Gabby was engaging in a Congress neighborhood meeting at the grocery there, which our Ed Perlmutter did a lot of those. I remember him talking about them in the Caucus.

    I first would like to yield at this moment to the president of our class. Mr. Hodes isn't with us, but the others, the surviving member of our class, Mr. Yarmuth, from Louisville, Kentucky.

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