tv Tribute to Gabe Zimmerman CSPAN April 21, 2013 1:10am-2:16am EDT
woman who had broken glass ceiling so so others could follow. host: david rennie of "the economist." thank you for being with us. appreciate it. >> the funeral for former british prime minister margaret thatcher was held on wednesday. attendees included queen gordon brown, and dick cheney. we will show some of the funeral tomorrow night at 9 p.m. eastern. next, a dedication ceremony to honor congressional aide game zimmerman, who was killed in the tucson shooting and 2011. then, the weekly addresses with president obama and south carolina senator tim scott. after that, a discussion on the future of the civil rights movement.
>> she was very bright. she was very political. which is why she and lincoln got together in the first place. she spoke several languages fluently. she was extremely well educated. she had all these things going for her. series ofd suffered a tremendous emotional blows. >> three of her four children died. white house.he the other shortly after her husband's assassination. the kinds of grief this woman was going through our amazing. she was demonized for that. people thought she was crazy. we found that she was not crazy. mary todd was a very significant person. i hope someday we get a better view of the range of things that influenced her life, not just the tragedy. >> more on mary todd lincoln, in our conversation with historians and you.
c-span radio and c- span.org. >> gabriel zimmerman was a congressional aide to former arizona congresswoman gabby giffords. he was killed in the tucson shootings in which the congresswoman was wounded. five other people were also killed that day. wasuesday, a room dedicated to zimmerman in the u.s. capitol visitors center, to honor his service to the house of representatives. this is just over an hour. >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome to the united states capitol. before we begin our program, if
you would rise and join together in a moment of silence for the thetims of this attack. atrocity in boston took the lives of several americans, and wounded many others. a moment of silence. thank you. pursuant to house resolution 364, room 215 of the capitol visitors center has been designated to gabriel zimmerman. we've placed a commemorative plaque. this is dedicated in memory of gabriel zimmerman, who was shot and killed serving the people of arizona while carrying out his duties as an aide of gabrielle giffords.
his dedication inspires all of us to love each other as fellow human beings of a caring nation. we're honored to be joined by the vice president of the united states. we're grateful to the members of congress who are here. his colleagues, friends, and loved ones who made it possible. with us today are gabrielle giffords and her husband mark parents.be's i would like to invite the father to come up and give the invocation. >> let us pray. lord, creator of all and source of eternal wisdom, you are the life of the just.
your servant gabriel zimmerman lived in a large world, loved his family and friends, yet chose to serve you by helping many others through service in government. as we gather now, we remember the constituent whisperer whose love of our world and all of its people was an inspiration to those with whom he worked. we ask your blessing as we dedicate this space in memory of gabe, but also to honor in his name all who serve faithfully in the work of congress as dedicated staff to our elected representatives. may our gathering be a worthy testament to gabe, who is sorely missed still. thank you to you for giving us such a noble soul.
his spirit, we pray, rests in the bosom of abraham. amen. >> if everyone will remain standing and join me in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. i know the word bittersweet is on all of our minds today. the word historic should be as well. this is the first room in the visitors center to be named in honor of an individual. it is the first room in the entire capital complex to be dedicated to a staffer.it's a
stirring tribute, and i think fitting. this is not the space we use for ceremony. people come here for meetings, the kind of assemblies gabe would have planned as a staffer. there is a plaque here which speaks of a young man who set out to make a difference many times over. it can only say so much, especially in this case. his colleagues and fellow staffers know why this is. they know he would not have counted all the hours that he gave to the people. he would not have tracked the extra calls he made, the free time sacrificed. they know he would not have bragged about his successes, and he would not announce them because that is the code of the staff and the democratic process.
we should pause and be thankful for the unsung professionals who sustain this institution. will the staff members present raise your hands and and be recognized by all of us? [applause] this tribute to all who serve. may this room stand as a marker to our capacity to give and to care and to love. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i want to echo that our thoughts and prayers are with the people in boston today and in the difficult days ahead.
the boston marathon is an incredible marathon for the thousands who run it each year. it is a horrible tragedy that celebration turned to nightmare. like so many of you here today, bostonians are incredibly strong and we stand with them united and ready to help the family and friends of the victims. as mr. rogers famously noted, when i was seeing scary things, my mother would say to me, look you will always. find people who are helping. in times of such inexpressible crisis, we are grateful for all who lend a helping hand to those in need.especially our first responders. these men and women are not just public servants, they have made helping others their life's work. gabriel zimmerman was one of those people. always looking for ways to help others. january 8, 2011, was a day that shocked the nation.
when tragedy struck the community in our country in tucson, arizona, that took the lives of six people, including one of our own, the hard-working devoted staffer to our friend gabrielle giffords. gabriel zimmerman served as her community outreach director.he was perfectly suited for his position, as anyone who knew him would tell you. having had the privilege of meeting him several times, i would agree. working as a community outreach director married two great passions, his drive to help individuals and a firm conviction that america's government needs to be open, accessible, and responsive to every american. these professionals listen each and every day to the concerns of our constituents, their problems, their complaints and work to help them.
the hours are long, nights and weekends are sacrificed to attend community meetings. the capitol community comes together to honor the service and sacrifice a member of our family. to the family and friends of gabriel zimmerman, thank you for sharing gabe with all of us and the people of arizona. we gather here today to recognize his commitment to making others' lives better. he would often put in extra hours and was known to pay out of his own pocket for poorer histituents' bus fare.among colleagues, gabe was profoundly well liked.
they told me when i visited after the shooting that he was always excited to come to work for a member of congress who he so admired. his co-workers called him prince charming because he was always there for them, always ready to come to their rescue. this public servant, a true missionary of our representative democracy, made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. we gather to name this congressional meeting room the gabriel zimmerman meeting room. this room is frequently used for staff meetings of every variety. the naming of this room came about through the passage of a bipartisan resolution. thismembers as co-sponsors.
legisong select pieces of lation to garner such broad support in the house, historically. today, we honor the life of gabriel zimmerman and we recognize all congressional staff working in every corner of our great nation. from now on, each time we enter the gabriel zimmerman meeting room, let us be reminded of gabe and his devotion of service. it is my pleasure and privilege to welcome the vice president of the united states, joe biden, to our gathering. [applause]
>> the events that brought us all together today are shrouded in tragedy, but in coming together, we celebrate gabe. we are all traveling on the path to healing. we are naming this room as a tribute and as a gift to gabe and to those who are tragically wounded and those who lost their lives in the tucson shooting. in this space, gabe is giving us a gift, too. his presence will remind everyone who walks these halls the meaning of duty and of service, of passion to a cause, it seems we will have more to be grateful for. two of my staff members worked closely with gabe. they shared with me their thoughts about him. approght tit wo9ululd be
priate to share them with you. melissa and julie told me, we cannot remember when we first heard the phrase, "what would gabe do?" it is a standard that has endured. he was the staffer that we all strive to be. he cared for everyone and he wanted to save the world one constituent at a time. he was called a constituent whisperer because of his uncanny ability to connect with our friends and neighbors in our home state of arizona. gabby is an arizonan through and through. the very same could be said for he cared deeply for our community. his work and our friendship transcended politics. end quote. my thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family. your son, your brother, your friend is leaving an enduring
legacy that will inspire all who work here for generations to come. >> we are here today in the presence of gabe's family, his friends, and former colleagues. a few of us got together and it was like a high-school reunion. people came together to remember this incredible young man. until his untimely death on january 8, 2011, he was and still is beloved by so many people. all of us wish we were not here today. we are here to celebrate a great life, a life that was well lead, but ended way too soon.
he led his life with joy and passion, curiosity. he cared deeply about his family, his fiancee, his friends and community. he was a man of strongly held convictions and principles. those convictions and principals were instilled in him by is many of whom are with us here today. he was my right hand guy, he was the first person we hired when i was a district director. we worked side by side to set up the office. i called it a transition office. he called it a transition closet.
it was a tight space. we hired the staff soon after the election in 2006. the people of arizona have been so well served because he sought out staff who knew how to do casework, many of them with social work background. we hired the best to do the best for the people of arizona. many of those staff are with me now and his legacy of public service continues through them. just a comment about that staff, many of whom are in the room. i think gabe hired well, but when you looked at what staff did in the aftermath of the shooting, he hired incredibly well. they were back to work on monday after the shooting on saturday
and held up maintaining the services of that office and i am so proud of all of them and so many of them are working with me directly. when constituents came to the office a little bit upset, they were often calmed down by gabe. he had his office by the front lobby. he would hear elevated language and come over immediately to c alm. he did so well. on the day of the shooting, i am told, he saw a heated convsation occurring between people polar opposite ends of the political spectrum. he went over and calmed them tedn.they sat down and wai their turn to see the congress woman. his kind spirit and desire to help people informed every interaction he had. he was a favorite of the seniors who live in green valley. [laughter]
the retirement community in our district. i would show there from time to time and they would always ask, where is gabe? he was a gracious young man, but he was very handsome as well. [laughter] he was a congressional staffer that all staffers wanted to emulate. he had enormous faith. that is why it is so fitting to have a room named after a staffer here in the capitol. i know this room is not just to honor gabe, he would want to honor all of the public servants. it was my great privilege to work alongside him. he was a dedicated public servant, determined to make his
community better. he was also the guy i called when i could not figure out what to do on my computer, which was practically every day. he would appear in the doorway and the computer would be fixed. he did not even have to do anything. as we remember and celebrate his spirit, i cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to name this room for him, a room where staffers gather every week to discuss how we can better serve the people that we represent. thank you for being here today. it is bittersweet, but i am so glad so many of you came to celebrate this incredible young man. it is my honor to invite to the podium my former boss, a woman who was a great inspiration to all of us.
you probably know that he was fiercely loyal to the i know she loved and appreciated him very much. she is accompanied here to the podium by her husband, captain mark kelly. welcome mark kelly and gabrielle giffords. [applause] >> mr. vice president, thank you emily,ing with us today. ba-- kelly -- on behalf of of gabby and i, we're honored to be here with you today on this very important day. thank you to the members of the house, senate who helped make
this dedication possible. to be true to history, it was your staffs who really made this happen. [laughter] in a world where staff are often admonished for attracting credit, let me formally and officially say, on behalf of you solnd i, thank you. diered on and saw to it, against all odds, there would be a real and permanent space dedicated to one of your own. the only room in the capitol named for a staffer. the only staffer ever murdered in the line of duty. as you know, gabby has trouble speaking as well as she used to. some days are better than others.
some occasions are harder than others. she asked me to speak on her behalf today. if she could, she would keep you here all day -- >> all day long. >> talking about her friend gabe. gabe worked on her first he worked in2006. fortuscon district office four years. gabe and gabby had a lot of incredible experiences together that range from inspirational to hilarious to horrific. gabriel zimmerman and gabrielle giffords also shared a name. gabriel is translated into "a strong man of god." in the bible, gabriel is the angel assigned to be god's message bearer. gabby's mom always thought it was a fitting name for her daughter from a very young age.
i only had the privilege of knowing gabe briefly, but he was certainly a message bearer. as a young boy, he was asked to write a bit about himself for a school project. these words are now engraved in the memorial in southern arizona, a place he loved. this is written from gabe when he was 12 years old. "happy, athletic, outgoing, original. loves sports, family, and pizza. needs sports, family, and failure,ho fears weapons, and war. who gives help, love, and ideas.
who would like to see no hunger, nuclear bombs." as a grown man and colleague, his role was to bring a message of peace and calm to our constituents. he was called a constituent whisper because if there was ever a grumpy or agitated constituent at the office or at an event, he was the only person that could figure out how to console them. he had a gift with people.as does gabby. they saw that in each other and truly inspired one another. he was trained in social work. >> social work. >> his entire mission in life was to take care of other people. to enhance their well-being. to elevate service to others above self-interest. we have gotten very involved in the current discussion about whether everyone should have a
background check before buying a firearm. or just some people. in the realm of that discussion, some people say that a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun. i always remind people that there was a good guy with a gun that morning. in the chaotic 15 seconds that unfolded where 33 rounds were shot, he did not have any time to react. i made an effort to understand as many details of that day as possible. it was no surprise for me to learn that immediately after the shooting started, gabe ran towards gabby and the other victims and the shooter and towards danger. putting himself in service to others was his last act on this earth.
he is an inspiration, a constant reminder that being in service is a gift and the work of representing citizens of this country is noble. he worked hard at that and he took joy in it, too. this room will always remind us of his devotion and i hope, for many generations, remind members of congress and their staff that his determination to hear the voices of his fellow citizens and to do everything in his power to ensure that their government was responsive to them and this will guide their leadership. strong man of god, message bearer, we will continue his service. thank you. [applause]
>> good afternoon, everyone. as everyone was singing the praises of staff and justifiably so, i was thinking about talking about my staff and making me follow mark kelly and gabrielle giffords in this program. [laughter] mr. speaker, thank you for making this day possible. debbie and senator, congresswoman, madam chair, thank you for leading the way on the legislation that made this day possible. actually, i know that the staff was a moving force in making this happen but i can just tell you, watching congresswoman wasserman schultz on the floor, i'm surprised that instead of 400 co-sponsors, we didn't have 500 co-sponsors, she was relentless in making this happen for gabe but also because she knew how much it meant to gabbie and to mark and to all of us here.
vice president biden you honor us with your presence, it means so much to have you here. congresswoman giffords, mark kelly, we've already acknowledged leader cantor, whip hoyer, i see kristen sinn ma, representative from arizona, -- e today. synema, representative from arizona, here today.our thoughts ahd prayers rest with the people of boston, the victims of this senseless tragedy. words are inadequate to console the loved ones of those lost at the boston marathon and that can be said of every tragedy, including tucson but we will do what we can to care for them. we will pray for the recovery of the injured. we are grate to feel our first-- are grateful to our
first responders for the medical care, we offer our supports as americans and as members of congress and we'll ensure that justice is done. on january 8, 2011, another tragedy struck the hearts of our nation in tucson, arizona. for emily nottingham, for ross zimmerman, for gabe's family, friends, and loved ones, january 8, 2011, will forever be a day defined by grief and loss, by anguish and shock. for members of congress and our entire nation and our staff, that date will be seared into our memories as a moment of extraordinary sadness and almost despair. yet at the same time, january 8 was also a reminder of the courage of our colleague, congresswoman gabbie giffords. of the dedication of gabe zimmerman. his fellow staffers and local residents of the beauty of
democratic engagement, of public officials staying connected to people we are elected to represent at that supermarket meeting. those memories remain fresh in our mind with the dedication of the gabe zimmerman meeting room, those memories will officially have a place for admiration and respect in the capitol. the reason this is the first room is because there was an agreement there would be no naming of rooms in the visitor that is until the thought of naming one for gave -- gabe zimmerman. 400 co-sponsors. in dedicating this room, we do more than simply remember, we honor the ideals of service, that was what gabe was about, dedicated to service, a tribute to his family, and to the son and grandson they raised.
as his mother emily said, it's not his work but his ideals that should be honored here. gabe went to work that day for the same reason he went to work every day, to reach out to constituents, serve the public, it was part of his ongoing daily effort to make a difference, whether to veterans seeking benefits they were owed, to families facing foreclosures or seniors who lost their security checks. he was a welcome sight in that community. it's the same thing he had done throughout his all too short career as a social worker assisting troubled youth and as member of the board of several community organizations in tucson. that was his work, those were his ideals. now as congress reviews the best way to prevent gun violence, we appreciate the work of vice president biden, who honors us with his presence here today.as
chairman of the senate judiciary and vicee in the 1990s's president today, he has a deep understanding of these issues and is leading the way to measures that will make americans safer and families more secure. gabe zimmerman's story reflects a spirit of service shared by thousands of individuals serving as congressional staff, hundreds of them present here today. indeed, in honoring fwabe we recognize all of them for their hard work, dedication, all of you, for your hard work, passion, and dedication. in years to come, visitors will come to the capitol, see the name on the door and say, tell me about gabe zimmerman. i think we should tell him that this isn't called the gabriel zimmerman room, it's called the gabriel zimmerman meeting room a place where people come together to meet, in the spirit of gabe zimmerman, we will have a meeting of the minds to make a difference to the american people.
hopefully in this meeting room, we will be meeting the standards of gabe zimmerman. we'll be meeting the ideals his mother talked about. he will constantly be an inspiration to us. that's what we'll tell people when they ask us, tell me about gabe zimmerman. and though they may not know him now by name, they will know him by his service and his leadership. today we continue to pray for emily, ross, and the entire zimmerman family. we hope it's a comfort to you that so many people appreciate that gabe has been the inspiration he continues to be and that he will be forever remembered in the capitol of the united states. thank you. [applause] >> mr. speaker, madam leader, members of congress, staff, mom, dad, ben, losing a brother is a very difficult thing.
becky, our heart goes out to you, and grandpop it's -- you, probably more than any other people in this room today can understand how the people in boston feel today. you know, lots of times we are united in our victories but more often we're united in our tragedies. it gives you a window into how difficult things are for other
people. and no parent should have their child predecease them. and no parent should be in a position where their child is taken by a violent act. i say child, knowing he was a fully grown man. it doesn't matter. it does not matter. in my case it was a baby, in your case it was a grown man, it doesn't matter. as a matter of fact it may even be harder. it may be harder. and you know, all those folks up in boston who were witnesses of, as many were with you, gabbie, a horrific event that did such damage to you and the people you love, to your staff, it's a -- we don't know the details yet. i started an early morning meeting late last night at the time of the event, the only
thing i can say for certain with all our domestic as well as foreign intelligence folks, we will find out what happened. we will find out who did this and we will bring them to justice. we also know something about us as americans. we know something about bostonians. that in the most difficult times, that's when we stand closest together and it's out of tragedy that we grow stronger. i know that sounds so hollow to say to you now, i remember my mother saying, after i lost my wife and daughter, my mother is a gentle, sweet, old -- not old at the time, a young irish lady,
she was compassionate, she cade, joey, if you look hard enough, something good will come out of everything bad. we will come out of the attack in boston stronger, and believe it or not, you will be stronger. it's in your bloodstream, pal. he's part of you. there's no way, there's no way it ever goes away. i was elected to senate when i was 29 years old, i was often mistaken for a senate staffer. [laughter] literally, i was told many times, these elevators are oh, ford for senators. those days. [laughter] they knew i was a senator when i opened my mouth and nothing sensible came out, they knew i
couldn't be a staffer, i had to be a senator. and that goes for congressmen too. staffers, staffers. guess what. as john says, senators are a different category. i think that's -- i don't know. [laughter] all i know is that old joke, walk over -- a walk over here is twice as long as it is on the way back. look, folks, all of us who serve here, have been elected here, it's so trite to say it, but you know, there's no possibility we can do our job without the gabe zimmermans, not the remotest possibility. i also know, i don't know what my fellow congressmen, members of congress, would say, but i used to find that when i was chairman of the foreign relations committee, the foreign
relations staff thought what they did was very important. they were very special. and i used to make my staff, literally, my d.c. staff have to come and spend a week in delaware doing casework to understand why i get elected. to understand who pays their salary. why it matters. why it matters. and you know, as pointed out many times, this is the first time in history any room in the capitol has been named after a staffperson. but it's appropriate. because all of us know that there's no way this place can function without you. you know, i always would say, and i'm sure my colleagues agree with me, the single best buy, the single best tax dollar spent is the brainpower, the
patriotism, the dedication, the service, and the results that come through people whose names they never know, staffers. almost every one of you in this room could be doing something else, making a whole lot more money. so many of you graduated top of your class. so many of you, i remember feeling self-conscious, i stopped hiring rhodes scholars after it got to seven and i realized how inadequate i was. but all kidding aside, these are the applications we get, people who work for us, and with us. so it's appropriate, it's appropriate because there's no way this place could function without incredible staff. and you know, nancy was right, people will come in the room and they're going to -- we don't kid each other, they'll say, gabe
zimmerman, who was he? it'll be a staffer who will tell them. tell them who he was and why this room was named after him. because what is this democracy, except one big conversation, it is constantly rubbing up against, one conversation up against another, to generate some kind of consensus. we are so diverse, we are so heterogenous now, without this system we would be -- we would fall apart. i was instructed by the congressman, this about
celebrating gabe's life, as his mom and dad wanted. you know what? it's his life we're choosing to remember and a life that sounds almost hollow when we say devoted to service. it's a trite phrase. but it's simple. worry about the guy next door. worrying about the guy down the street. worrying about when you walk into the drugstore to pick up your prescription as a young staffer and you find some guy fumbling around to figure out if he has enough money to pick up his prescription. going to the gas station saying, it's on empty, i can't fill it up, i put five gallons in, because i can't fill the whole tank. somebody who gets a call and says, mom died and johnny's in afghanistan, how can i get him home? how can i do that? is it possible? you know, i notice most of you, you don't do it because you're
paid to it. you do it because you really want to do it. you really want to do it. gabe, like my daughter, was first and foremost a social worker, i'm going to save the world. i get a phone call from my daughter, my people who are my people? these aren't about policy, it's about people's lives. he was a social worker and he was devoted to gabbie personally and to her staff. he was gabbie's voice like most of our people back home are. they're our voice. that's how we get judged, they don't get to see us all the time. they see our staffers, the reflection of who we are. these two are cut from the same cloth. people understood gabbie, she was all over the district. but they understood her because they understood gabe.
he spoke for her because he could speak for her. he knew her heart. he was her voice at home. he was driven by a social conscience, i didn't know gabe, i just know gabes. up here. i go gabbie well. i'm told he was driven by a social conscience, the only thing he ever wanted to do was somehow make people better. i thought that, at the trailhead that was read what he wrote, my god, 12-year-old kid or 10 or 14 or 25 for that matter, kid writing that. it's obviously what he wanted to do and he obviously did it. you know, even the day he was killed, it was pointed out to me, i hope you don't mind if i repeat our conversation, i called and asked ron about it and he said, all i can remember,
gabbie went down and as i was going down, i saw this figure between us. and the last thing i remember he was way back, he said the way we set up, i'd be by gabbie. and gabe would be out there making sure that everything was in order. it's not hyperbole, i guess, that he didn't run away from the fire. he ran into the fire. pretty remarkable kid. pretty remarkable kid. gabe's selflessness in my view was manifested by his courage. that's the ultimate act of selflessness. as my mom used to say, the
greatest of all virtues is courage because all others are built upon it. by all accounts, and i say that because i don't want to pretend i knew gabe, by all accounts this was an incredibly remarkable kid and he wasn't a kid, he was a grown man. now every time, as i said, someone walk into this room, somebody is going to say, when they say, who is gabe, they're going to tell them about you. they're going to describe many of you. they're going to describe how this place works, how there are so many damn good people in this country who want to serve. you know, they're going to be reminded that when we walk in this room, i served in the senate for 36 years. when we walk in this room, we're reminded about why we ran in the first place. sometimes you forget when you're
here too long, or even if you're here a short timeful we ran because we said we wanted to serve. we ran because we said we would listen. we promised to listen. we ran because we told our folks back home that we would tell them the truth about what we believed and we would stand by what we ran on. there's no secret that sometimes all of us lose sight, hopefully only temporarily, of why we ran. gabe obviously didn't forget why he wanted gabbie to run and why he stayed while she ran and why she stayed. and i don't know that you staffers know this, and it's no different at the white house, been there going on five years now, it almost always the new kid on the block in the staff that goes, but i thought you
said -- i'm serious. i thought you said, i thought you were going to -- isn't that why you did? the more honorable and decent and noble you are, the more impact you have on your member, no matter whether they're left, right, center, because everyone who ran here, every congressman, every senator, they ran because they actually believed in something. they believed they wanted to change something. they wanted to make something bet . we disagree on what constitutes better, but that's why they ran. and so, emily and ross, gabe was stolen from you much too young. but he's been stolen from you doing, as trite as it sounds, the work of democracy.
what is the ultimate work of democracy? a beautiful, bright congresswoman with a talented, well-educated staff, outside a grocery store standing there, ready to have people tell them how good they were and how stupid they were. how positive they thought about them, how negatively they thought about them. ready to listen. to give that constituent their best judgment of what they thought should and shouldn't be done. not all of it is good at meetings, sometime it's a tongue lashing. but every once in a while it's someone making you realize why you do what you do.
so folks, thank goth there's so many of you, maybe not as courageous, counting myself or others as gabe but there's so many of you. there's to -- you're so talented, so good, so decent, so committed. that's the only way this place functions. nancy always tells me and john always tells me, this is the people's house. this really is the people's house. i was proud to be a senator, with all the time, but this is the people's house and every two year you go out to your bosses and make the case why they should have you back for another two. that's how the system works. but it only works with young, smart, talented people who really care. father, you've got got quite a flock here. good people. and gabe was the best among them. thank you.
>> on behalf of all my colleagues, it's my pleasure to wok to the podium, gabe's parents, ralph zimmerman, to be followed by his mother, emily nottingham. >> it is very nice to see all the people who gabe was so fond of here and some other people who are very involved in the affairs of our nation. i was not going to tell any stories but you triggered a couple. and i will say, there is a strange and surreal component to this because of the events in boston.
as some people here know, i've run countless marathons, gabe and i ran across the grand canyon a couple of times, so the complete incongruity, the horror of that situation is something that really caught our attention yesterday. i certainly want our leaders and our law enforcement to do everything necessary. but i must tell you a couple of gabe stories before i go through my remarks. the first one being triggered by ron's comment about computer support. this will tell you how dedicated gabe was to his job. when i first told ben, his brother that gabe was computer support for his office was, dad, you've got to be kidding.
and -- because gabe was not computer technical, especially, but the point is, somebody needed to figure out how to do it this people in the office needed help so he did it. the other thing i wanted to mention was a tale of courage. the -- not exactly gabe's courage. the -- there was a shooting in southeast arizona, a rancher was shot, there was a great furor over it and gabrielle decided she needed to meet with the ranchers in that reason, speak with them directly and understand their concerns. gabe was talking to me about the preparations for this. and i listened for a while and said, son, these people are very upset. it's awfully brave of you and your boss to go talk to these people. and he said, actually, dad, i recommended against it. it's her idea. and it went very well. and they appreciated it. and that's just the kind of
person gabrielle is. [applause] on january 8, 2011, my son gabriel directed the congress on your corner for gabrielle giffords and the citizens of arizona. when chaos broke out, he rushed to help. we know the outcome, that's why we're here today. at this capitol build, flags were flown at half-mast to honor the first staffperson killed in the line of duty. several memorials were proposed, all good ideas, but the one that carried the day was the naming of this room in his honor. many people here today carried this idea forward, we thank you and we thank the house of representatives for the unanimous vote in support of gabe's legacy. some of us felt strongly we
wanted the best possible image of gabe on the plaque you see on this wall. the architect of the capitol's office, and tim reid in that office, were patient and supportive when we took the project back home in tucson where his family and friends could help. after months of collaboration with the sculptor, we arrived at a representation that resonated for many. two years ago, i sat in front of the capitol, looking at the glow of the dome, with gabe's fiance, kelly who by the way dragged him through his first marathon when he was in a not very well trained state. kelly had never been here before. she was enchanted with this place. our seat of government. i realized if gabe had survived, he and kelly would likely have lived here for a time, serving the people and the nation he loved.
this will not come to pass. rather, an echo of gabrielle will -- an echo of gabriel will persist, perhaps for centuries. that isn't worth the loss but that echo is good and true. i ask that you and our descendants take inspiration from my son's echo as you conduct the affairs of congress and of this nation. thank you.
>> hello. i want to particularly acknowledge the staffers of district 8 and especially those who were also there at the safeway that day. i've learned this about death, that after it, love survives. and i really hope that the love that gabe had for people and for justice lingers in this room for many, many years. this is my vision for this room. about 50 years from now, there are two members of congress and they're rushing down the hallway together, trying to come to a meeting that's going to be a difficult meeting in this room, and the man turns to the woman and he says, who was gabe zimmerman, anyway? and the woman, member of congress, who has done her homework, says, tells the story of the young staffer who was murdered trying to make democracy work in tucson, arizona. and there's a pause. and both of them commit to
themselves that for this next meeting, held in this room, that they would stand up for what they believed in. i want to thank those of you who made it possible that maybe that vision or something like it can come true. thank you very much. [applause] >> let us pray. loving god, as we leave this place, we ask again that you reward gabe zimmerman for his love and service. give to him the joys and blessings of eternal life as you console all who are bound to him
still. may we all be inspired by gabe's example. he loved listening to the concerns of constituents and solving their problems when he could. grant, o lord, that his love of the world and all your children be an ince prigs to us all in our work and in our encounters with others. may god's great name be blessed forever and ever, amen. may there be peace and light for us all, amen. that he who makes peace in the heavens grant peace to us all, amen. >> i want to thank all of you for coming today and invite the family and the stage guests to join us in front of the plaque for a photo. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national