Giffords to attend State of the Union

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 image from House Television, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., center, appears on the floor of the House of Representatives, in Washington. The signals are strong. One year after being shot in the head, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is on a mission to return to the job she so clearly loved. Her husband and people near the three-term congresswoman say she is highly motivated to recover from her injuries and get back to work in Washington, potentially using her inspirational story as a way to mend political differences in the nation's capital. She faces a May deadline to get on the November ballot, meaning she has a few months to decide her next step. AP Photo/House Television

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will attend President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday evening in one of her final acts as a member of Congress, her office announced.

Giffords, who announced Sunday in a video that she would resign from Congress this week to focus on her recovery, will sit between Repyblican Rep. Jeff Flake and Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva. At last year's State of the Union address, shortly after Giffords was shot and wounded, Flake and Grijalva flanked an empty seat reserved for the congresswoman.

Giffords, who has pushed for more bipartisan cooperation in Congress, said in her video message: "We can do so much more by working together."

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Mr. Obama has also invited Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, to be a guest at the address. Kelly will sit with the first lady.

Also attending the address as a guest will be Giffords' constituent Brian Kolfage. Kolfage, who was injured in a mortar attack Iraq in 2004, is a triple amputee and serves on the congresswoman's Veterans Advisory Council.

On Monday, Giffords spent her final hours in Tucson as the city's U.S. representative, finishing the meeting she started on the morning she was shot and bidding farewell to constituents who supported her through a long recovery.

Giffords, wearing an olive-green jacket and a bright turquoise scarf, spent time Monday at her office with other survivors of the rampage that killed six people and injured 13. She hugged and talked with survivors, including Suzi Hileman, who was shot three times while trying to save her young friend and neighbor, 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green. The little girl died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Others who met with Giffords included Pat Maisch, hailed as a hero for wrestling a gun magazine from the shooter that day, and Daniel Hernandez, Giffords' intern at the time who helped save her life by trying to stop her bleeding until an ambulance arrived.

"It was very touching," said Maisch, who was not hurt in the attack. "I thanked her for her service, wished her well, and she just looked beautiful."

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