(video credit: PBS NewsHour)
“Out of many, one. One thing that we have learned from this great tragedy is that we came together. On Saturday we all became Tusconians, on Saturday we all became Arizonans, and above all, we all became Americans,” 20-year-old University of Arizona student, Daniel Hernandez told 14,000 people at the University of Arizona’s McKale Memorial Center during tonight’s Memorial Service. Hernandez has served as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ intern and has been credited for saving Giffords’ life during the Tucson shooting rampage on January 8th. Hernandez provided first aid care to Giffords until emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene. “We have all come together to realize that what defines us is not the differences, it is that we are all together, we are all a family, we are all Americans.”
Hernandez talked about “glimmers of hope” and who he feels are the real heroes. He humbly rejected the word “hero” when it came to his own actions, and put over in gratitude and attention to the victims we lost during the shooting, the first responders, and the medical team who were treating those who are injured from the tragedy. He also said that those in direct care, those in public service, first responders and those who have dedicated their lives to public service and taking care of others should be the ones celebrated and honored for their daily actions.
Hernandez is also an activist in the gay community and is also a member of the City of Tucson Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues. Congresswoman Giffords is a member of the Congressional LGBT Caucus and has supported the repeal of DADT.