Gabrielle Giffords receives JFK Presidential Library Profiles in Courage Award

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The New York Times reports, Kennedy Library Gives Courage Award to Giffords:

Caroline Kennedy was not even 6 years old when her father was assassinated 50 years ago. And on Sunday, she said the hurt never heals.

“Our family is still suffering the heartbreak caused by gun violence,” Ms. Kennedy said here at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

She was here to honor another target of an assassin, one who lived. Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was shot in 2011 at point-blank range and was nearly killed by a lone gunman, has devoted herself to pressing for measures to prevent gun violence since she has recovered.

For that, Ms. Kennedy bestowed on Ms. Giffords the Profile in Courage
Award in a small ceremony on Sunday afternoon at the library. The award
is given annually to someone who demonstrates the kind of courage that
President Kennedy highlighted in his book “Profiles in Courage,” which
praised eight senators who risked their careers by taking principled
stands on unpopular positions.

“No one should have to lose a husband, a wife, a father, a child to
senseless murder,” Ms. Kennedy said in presenting the award to Ms.
Giffords. “But as our honoree has shown, out of that pain and tragedy,
we must find the strength to carry on, to give meaning to our lives, and
to build a more just and peaceful world.”

They were perhaps the most personal words Ms. Kennedy has ever spoken
publicly about the gunfire that took the life of her father, in 1963,
and that of an uncle, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, in 1968. Nov. 22 will
be the 50th anniversary of her father’s death.

“Gabrielle Giffords has turned a personal nightmare into a movement for
political change,” Ms. Kennedy said. “Her work is saving lives and
sparing countless families from the pain and loss caused by gun
violence.”

Ms. Giffords, wearing a sleeveless, floor-length red gown, gingerly
climbed the few steps to the podium with the aid of her husband, Mark
Kelly, the former astronaut, who wore a tuxedo. A formal 500-person
fund-raising gala for the library followed the more intimate award
ceremony, attended by about 50 people.

Ms. Giffords and Ms. Kennedy, who wore a slim royal blue dress, embraced
as Ms. Kennedy handed her the award, a sterling silver lantern, which
symbolizes a beacon of hope. The lantern was designed by Edwin
Schlossberg, Ms. Kennedy’s husband, and made by Tiffany & Company.

* * *

“We’re so sorry for the violence and terror you all have endured,” Mr. Kelly said from the podium, referring to the Boston Marathon bombings. “We know what that is like,” he said. “We know how violence changes lives.”

His wife, he added, has chosen to try to inspire and motivate “a nation
that is fed up with violence and fed up with Congressional inaction.”

Just recently the Senate failed to pass expanded background checks for those buying guns.

Ms. Giffords spoke for a few seconds. “I believe we all have courage
inside,” she said haltingly, then veered from her prepared remarks to
add: “I wish there was more courage in Congress.”

She said these two years since she was shot have been hard. “But I want
to make the world a better place,” she said. “More than ever.”

Video from the JKF Library. (Forward to 11:30 mark).

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