For once, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wasn’t the one crying on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
During a moving ceremony on Wednesday, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot in the head last year, made her final appearance in the House as a member of Congress, and actually ended up comforting an emotional Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) in the process.
“I couldn’t prepare anything this morning,” Wasserman Schultz explained. “Because I knew I would not be able to hold it together very long.”
“I am so proud of my friend, and it will always be one of the great treasures of my life to have met Gabby Giffords and to have served with her,” she continued, wiping away tears as Giffords offered a hug. “Her public service has meant a great deal to her, and that this is only a pause in that public service and that she will return one day to public service.”
“No matter what we argue about on this floor or in this country, there is nothing more important than family and friendship,” Wasserman Schultz said, her voice cracking. “And that should be held on high above all else. And I will always carry that in my heart, and even though I know we won’t see each other every day, Gabby, we will be friends for life. I’m so sorry.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Jan. 25, 2012.
[Ed. note: Updated to correct “yelled on high” to “held on high.”]