Republicans and Democrats have different ideas about the right way to save America, but today they came together to learn the right way to save a life as the American Red Cross descended on Capitol Hill Wednesday to teach lawmakers and their staffs how to properly perform CPR.
"There isn't anything partisan about it," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. "I'm really learning something. As though a life depends on it."
The seminar was inspired by the tragedy in Tucson, particularly the heroic and effective life saving actions of the intern who helped keep Rep. Gabrielle Giffords alive.
"If it were not for Daniel Hernandez's training (the Giffords intern), they don't know what the Congresswoman's fate would have been," explained Giffords Chief of Staff Pia Carusone. "Thank God for the training of Daniel Hernandez," added Giffords' colleague and friend, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
Near the end of Wednesday's program, Members of Congress, including former Speaker of the House Pelosi, actually got on the floor to more closely observe the mannequin. "I think we all have an obligation to learn it," Pelosi said. "This brings me back to my old life guard days," added Rep. Dave Schweikert, R-Ariz.
Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y. has been in office long enough, that he knows even when someone is flat on their back, they can be useful in a campaign. "And at what point do you ask if they are a registered voter?" Rangel cracked, as a CPR mannequin lay lifeless near his feet.
This Saturday, March 19, similar training will be available to all Americans, not just elected officials. An hour's worth of free CPR lessons are being offered at over 100 locations nationwide during the "Gabrielle Giffords Honorary Save-a-Life Saturday." "Gabby's working very hard on her recovery," said Wasserman Schultz. "Her personality is re-emerging."
It was revealed last week that Rep. Giffords might attend next month's launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, which her husband, Astronaut Mark Kelly, will command.