Giffords to receive JFK Profile in Courage Award

(JTA) — Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

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Giffords, who survived a shooting that killed six people, was recognized for the “political, personal, and physical courage she has demonstrated in her fearless public advocacy for policy reforms aimed at reducing gun violence.”

The award is presented each year by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Caroline Kennedy, JFK’s daughter, will present Giffords with the award on May 5. 

Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, launched a gun control initiative following the shootings in December at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 first-graders and seven adults were killed by a lone gunman.

“Instead of retreating following the tragic shooting that ended her Congressional career, she has recommitted herself to fighting for a more peaceful society free from hate and violence. She is a true Profile in Courage,” Caroline Kennedy said in a statement.

Giffords was shot in the head in a Tucson, Ariz., parking lot in January 2011 during a constituents’ event, also by a lone gunman. Among those killed was a 9-year-old girl.

The first Jewish woman elected to statewide office in Arizona, Giffords stepped down from her congressional seat and continues to recover from the shooting. 

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