Giffords Says Goodbye in Tucson
Arizona congresswoman resigns to focus on recovery
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2012 5:02 PM CST
Gabrielle Giffords tours the Gabrielle Giffords Family Assistance Center, one of her favorite charities, with her staffer Ron Barber, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

(Newser) – Gabrielle Giffords said farewell to her constituents in Tucson today during the final bittersweet hours of her time as US representative, the AP reports. In her office, she hugged and met with other survivors of the shooting that left six dead and thirteen injured last year. "It was very touching," said Pat Maisch, who was not injured in the attack. "I thanked her for her service, wished her well, and she just looked beautiful."

Giffords also visited the Gabrielle Giffords Family Assistance Center, which was established by a food bank she supported. The center has helped needy families with basic necessities like clothing, insurance, and food stamps. "Wow. Awesome," Giffords said when she walked in. The third-term congresswoman announced yesterday she was stepping down to focus on her recovery, but posted a hopeful message on Twitter: "I will return & we will work together for Arizona & this great country."