Members of the House are honoring a congressional aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who died last January when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson.
More than 400 lawmakers signed onto a resolution that would name a room at the Capitol after Gabriel Zimmerman, Giffords' community outreach director.
House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday, "It is fitting to honor Gabe Zimmerman, who gave his life while faithfully discharging his duties under the Constitution, with a permanent memorial in the United States Capitol. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve, and today we honor Gabe's memory and his service to the House of Representatives."
Zimmerman, a social worker, was one of the first people Giffords hired after she was elected in 2006.
Nearly 20 lawmakers from both parties spoke in honoring Zimmerman.
Rep. Raùl Grijalva of Arizona said: "In very rightly honoring Gabe Zimmerman's life and selfless work for his country today, we also honor the many congressional staffers who work invisibly to improve the lives of the people they serve. Gabe was one of many unsung heroes doing five things at once every day to make this a better place to live without asking for recognition. I'm very honored to support this memorial to his life and his work on behalf of his community, which meant a great deal to more people than we'll ever know."
Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona said: "Today, we honored Gabe Zimmerman, a man who spent his life giving back to Arizonans and making our state a better place. Though naming something as simple as this room will never be enough for such a sacrifice, it is the right thing to do for Gabe - for all he did for Arizona and what he meant to the congressional family."
Rep. Ed Pastor of Arizona said: "This is a very fitting tribute. Gabe was a dedicated public servant who truly worked for the betterment of his community and his district's constituents. He took their troubles to heart and worked tirelessly to help them find resolutions. This room will serve as a reminder of the true meaning of public service and Gabe's unyielding dedication to others."
Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona said: "This is a fitting tribute to a dedicated public servant. Gabe's name and presence here will remind everyone who walks in these halls of the meaning of duty, service and of passion for a cause."
Rep. Ben Quayle of Arizona said: "Naming a room in the Capitol after Gabe won't help ease the pain of the family, friends and coworkers who knew him, but it will ensure that his life is forever honored. Years from now, when members of Congress and staffers hold meetings in HVC 215, they will be reminded of Gabe's story and the tremendous example he set."
A vote is expected Thursday, and a plaque bearing his likeness will be unveiled during a formal dedication next year.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press and KPHO. All Rights Reserved.
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