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Pray for Giffords -- and for civility

By Donna Brazile, CNN Contributor
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Donna Brazile: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords crosses party lines, inspires friends everywhere
  • Giffords lifts politics to an art of cooperative problem solving, she says
  • Brazile asks readers to join her in prayer for Giffords, other victims and their families
  • She says: "Let us pray that our leaders restore respect and civility to political discourse"

Editor's note: Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee, a nationally syndicated columnist and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She was manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000 and wrote "Cooking With Grease."

(CNN) -- "Our democracy is a light -- a beacon, really -- around the world because we effect change at the ballot box and not because of these outbursts of violence." --Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, March 2010

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is the best kind of politician: a noble one. She lifts politics to a noble art of people-caring and cooperative problem solving. This is how she leads.

Giffords enjoys her work as an elected official. She loves people, and she wants to serve them. That's why she ran for public office.

Giffords worked across party lines not because she was "supposed" to, but because her principled commitments have inspired friends on both sides of the aisle. She has friends everywhere. Her warmth and personality make her impossible not to like. She connects with everyone. Giffords listens to each person. She listens because she cares about strangers and friends alike.

Please join me in praying for this inspirational woman, leader and friend, and for her family. Please pray for those who lost their lives and for their families. Please pray for all the other victims of this unthinkable and utterly pointless tragedy.

Were Giffords addressing us now, she would first remind us that other lives are shattered. She would say that these others, and their families, are equally in need of prayer and support. Let us pray for the large community that Gabrielle Giffords represents.

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She would especially take note of the loss of Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old student leader who was born on 9/11, the day tragedy united this nation. Her picture was featured in a book "The Faces of Hope." The assassin did not succeed in killing Gabriel Giffords. But, in the name of God, let us not allow him to succeed in destroying the hopes and futures of our children in the echoes of his intolerance.

Soon, we will turn our attention to ending violence like this forever, but until then, please pray for the many victims of this weekend's massacre.

Meanwhile, let us pray that our political leaders restore respect and civility in their political discourse, and beseech them to forgo the temptation to turn our plea to shun rancor into rancor. Please join me in praying for those who lost their lives, by name:

-- Judge John Roll

-- Dorothy Morris

-- Dorwin Stoddard

-- Christina Taylor Green

-- Phyllis Schneck

-- Gabriel Zimmerman

If you're so inclined, please send your good wishes to giffordswellwishes@gmail.com.

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