WASHINGTON - As the House chamber's bright lights warmed up yesterday for the annual rite of Washington officialdom, the trauma surgeon and the congressional intern who saved the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords 17 days earlier were getting ready to join the first lady in the gallery.
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The Jan. 8 assassination attempt on Giffords at a constituent meet-and-greet in Tucson ushered in promises of a new era of civility in American politics.
By doing away with a century-old tradition of sitting with their own party, lawmakers signaled that they could be more civil.
Peter Rhee, the trauma surgeon who treated Giffords, joined first lady Michelle Obama as did the parents of Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old who was killed in the shooting.