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US House Representative Gabrielle Giffords clings to life following brain surgery, after an attempted assassination at a local meet and greet for her constituents. US Federal District Judge Roll, a nine year old little girl who recently was elected to student council and four others died at the scene.

An aide to Giffords, Gabe Zimmerman is among the dead. Zimmerman was engaged to be married. The woman he loved, who was planning their wedding, a marriage and a life together will now know the pain of being a widow – without the benefit of the memories that were stolen from her. Without taking his name and knowing the joy that comes when you devote yourself to another person. Gabe is lost to her. The first time they would kiss as husband and wife. Those sweet memories of kisses, whispers and secrets shared by a couple when nobody is looking. There will be no discussions about taking his name. Time will lessen her pain but not her love, and it is with a heavy heart she will make her way forward. She, and the families of all who were lost or victimized by the gunman yesterday, are in my prayers.

For those clinging to arrogance, ignorance, hate, and desire to defeat all political foes, at any cost, the Tuscon tragedy should give pause. Our nation was founded by principled men, and women who loved and supported them. It was not through the lowest common denominator that the Declaration of Independence was brought into existence. It was not through ignorance that the Bill of Rights and the principles of equality came to fruition. High functioning intellect met with moral goodness became the bedrock on which our nation was built.

Love is all that is left when someone dies. We should strive to have that as the centerpiece of life as well. As Americans, we must strive to set that example not only in our lives but also in our political discourse.

—Media Lizzy

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