Project Wonderful

Monday, January 10, 2011


Pictured above, Daniel Hernandez, the intern who may have saved Rep. Giffords' life.

Like all of my colleagues, I was horrified to hear about the shooting in Tuscon earlier this week, which killed a nine year old girl, a Federal Judge, and a Congressional staffer and wounded Rep. Gabby Giffords.

Interestingly, different people in my life have speculated about the shooter's motivations as a reflection of their own lives. Activists seem to blame Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement based on the violent rhetoric used during the 2010 elections. Two fellow campaign workers seemed to believe he had a vendetta against her staff. My mom seems to think it was antisemitism.

The incident hit particularly close to home for a lot of us because of the death of Gabe Zimmerman, Giffords' Community Outreach Coordinator. That easily could have been me or any one of my friends. I am positive I know people who knew him. There are now 4,230 people on the Staffers Honor Gabe Zimmerman facebook page.

My first reaction was "this is not how we should function in a democracy." As a society, we tend to vilify our politicians and abhor politics. We forget that politicians are public servants and that they are people. More often than not after telling someone what I do, I find myself defending the concepts of popular sovereignty and representative democracy in some form or another. Of course too many of our politicians are corrupt, but this doesn't discount the tradition, sacrifice, and service made by our representatives and their staffs. I miss living in an America where public service means something not just to the servants but the served.

A perfect example is Daniel Hernandez an intern who RAN INTO THE FIRE to save the Congresswoman's life.Words cannot express my admiration for this young man, or my sadness and frustration over the entire incident.

I don't generally like to mix my religion and politics at all, but I hope you will join me in praying for Rep. Giffords' recovery and the families of all the victims.

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