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Former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords with staff from the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center

Former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords stands with staff members at the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Image: SRC

(WNN) Boston, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: “I want to make the world a better place,” said former U.S. Arizona Democratic member of Congress Gabrielle Giffords as she received a Profile in Courage Award at the JFK Library in Boston on Sunday. Current President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, personally gave Giffords her award on stage.

Gabby Giffords has turned a personal nightmare into a movement for political change,” said Kennedy recognizing the push toward positive policies that both Gabby Giffords and her husband former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly have been working toward since Giffords was shot and seriously injured by a spectator in the crowd during a speaking event at a Tuscon, Arizona mall in 2011.

Giffords, as well as her husband, has publicly supported and lobbied the U.S. legislation to vote for greater gun control measures, but their ongoing efforts have met an uphill climb as the recent Senate vote requiring universal background checks before the purchase of a gun in the U.S. came in with 55 votes, just 5 votes shy of the needed Democratic majority votes to push the bill through.

During the award ceremony at the JFK Library, Caroline Kennedy honored the victims of the recent victims and survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“All Americans have been inspired by the countless acts of selfless bravery and compassion we saw during the violence that struck this city on Patriots Day,” said Kennedy.

“Our family is still suffering from the heartbreak caused by gun violence,” Kennedy said during the awards ceremony. “No one should have to lose a husband, a wife, a father, a child, to senseless murder.”

During their stay in Boston, Kelly and Giffords took time out to visit the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts where 5 of the Boston Marathon bombing victims are now receiving medical rehabilitation treatment.

In addition to working closely with the bombing victims at the Rehabilitation Center, Spaulding Outpatient Center in Wellesley, Massachusetts is also offering wellness support treatments with complimentary Reiki and Acupressure sessions for area firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel, as well as to Spaulding Rehabilitation Employees, who all worked frantically to save lives following the aftermath of the bombings.

Giffords’ efforts, along with husband Mark Kelly, to stop violence in the United States is far from over.

“I believe we all have courage inside,” she outlined to the audience at the Profile in Courage awards.

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