The gay intern credited with saving the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) has been invited to sit alongside first lady Michelle Obama during the State of the Union address.
On Sunday, ABC News reported that Danny Hernandez, renowned as a hero for coming to Giffords’ aid during the shootings in Tucson, Ariz, two weeks ago, is set to attend President Obama’s speech with his father, Daniel Hernandez, Sr.
Hernandez reportedly told ABC News about his invitation and plans to attend the State of the Union address, which is scheduled for Tuesday before a joint session of Congress. According to ABC News, the president’s speech is set to take place on the same day as Hernandez’ 21st birthday.
“I’m both honored and excited to have the opportunity to travel to our nation’s Capitol for a once in a lifetime event,” Hernandez was quoted as saying. “Also the chance to bring my father along for his first trip to Washington, D.C. The State of the Union is a pivotal moment because it is our opportunity to find where we are and where we will be going as a nation in this upcoming year.”
Earlier this month in an interview with the Washington Blade, Hernandez, a University of Arizona student who had been working as Giffords’ intern for five days prior to the shootings, described his experience in working at the “Congress on Your Corner” event and running to the lawmaker after he heard gunshots to provide first aid.
“The attitude that I had,” Hernandez said, “was trying to make sure that those who had been injured were going to be OK, so to try to provide whatever first aid I could until someone else could come in and take over.”
Giffords, who was shot in the forehead, was among the 20 people shot by 22-year-old gunman Jared Loughlin, who used a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine during his attack. Six people were killed, including five who died at the scene and a 9-year-old girl who died at the hospital.