5. Gabby Giffords
As a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, Giffords represented Arizona’s 8th congressional district from 2007 until her resignation on January 25, 2012. It was on January 8, 2011, a week into her third term, that Jared Loughner opened fire at a community event outside a grocery store near Tucson. Six people died in the attack and 13, including Giffords, were injured.
Giffords was later brought to a rehabilitation facility in Houston, Texas, where she recovered some of her ability to walk, speak, read and write. On January 22, 2012, Giffords announced that she would be resigning from her congressional seat in order to concentrate on recovering from her wounds, but promised to return to public service in the future. She appeared on the floor of the House on January 25, 2012, where she formally submitted her resignation to a standing ovation and accolades from her colleagues and the leadership of the House. She has since returned to Arizona to live and work.
The nation has anxiously followed her amazing recovery and we applaud her courage and resilience.
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