After a ceremony on the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords handed her letter of resignation to Speaker John Boehner, according to the Huff Post.
“I will recover and will return and we will work together again, for Arizona and for all Americans,” she promised in the letter read aloud by her friend and colleague, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
After that Schultz asked her colleagues to join her in the House well.
“I couldn’t prepare anything this morning because I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold it together very long,” she said, crying. “We have all been through such a tumultuous year.”
“This is only a pause in her public service she will return. … She will return one day to public service,” she said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described Giffords as the “brightest star among us” and “an inspiring symbol of determination and courage to millions of Americans.”
“She has brought the word ‘dignity’ to new heights by her courage,” Pelosi added. “You will be missed in the House of Representatives.”
Giffords handed in her resignation letter after she recovered from a gunshot wound to the head during a shooting rampage in her home district in Arizona last year.
“The tragic January 8th shooting in Tucson took the lives of six beautiful Americans and wounded 13 others, me included,” said the letter to Boehner. “Not a day goes by that I don’t feel grief for the lives lost and so many others torn apart.”
Former Rep. said that she had “more work to do on my recovery before I can again serve in elected office.”
CNN says, that Jared Lee Loughner, 23, was accused of carrying out the attack, which targeted Giffords.
Loughner mudered six people – including Roll, the chief federal judge of Arizona.
The assassin has been diagnosed as schizophrenic. He is undergoing treatment in Springfield, Missouri.
“I don’t remember much from that terrible day, but I have never forgotten my constituents, my colleagues or the millions of Americans with whom I share great hopes for this nation,” she added in the letter.
It was one of the longer House goodbyes in recent times, as Democrats and Republicans were eager to see her off. A prolonged standing ovation followed a fusion of tributes and tears as colleagues praised her dignity and perseverance, says Patriot Ledger.
“I love Gabby Giffords,” Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said. “Gabby’s beauty is in the heart, in the soul, in the spirit. The House of Representatives of America has been made proud by this extraordinary daughter of this House, who served so well during her tenure here, who felt so deeply about her constituents and cared so much for her country. Gabby, we love you. We have missed you.”
After that the House voted on her final legislation piece: a bill that would impose new penalties on smugglers who use ultralight low-flying aircraft to bring drugs across the Mexican border to escape radar detection.
She gave her last vote.
The bill passed unanimously (408-0), with 26 members missing the vote.