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An emotional farewell as Gabrielle Giffords resigns from Congress


Gabrielle Giffords waves as she is applauded on the House floor on the day she resigned from office, Jan. 25.


Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, read Rep. Gabriell Giffords resignation speech on the House floor on Wednesday, Jan. 25.


Giffords hands House Speaker John Boehner her letter for resignation on Jan. 25.


House Speaker John Boehner tears up after accepting Gabrielle Giffords resignation.


A standing ovation for Gabrielle Giffords as she leaves the House floor for the last time after turning in her resignation, Jan. 25.


Gabrielle Giffords family watches from the balcony overlooking the House floor as she submits her resignation, Jan. 25.

By Kara Kearns, msnbc.com

On the House floor Wednesday morning, the day after her appearance at the president’s State of the Union address in the same chamber, Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords formally offered her resignation to Speaker John Boehner.

Walking with a limp and guided by her friend, Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Giffords made her way to the well at the front of the chamber. Other members of the Arizona delegation surrounded her as Republican Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake held her hand.

A crying Wasserman Schultz applauded the strength of her colleague. "I am so proud of my friend," she said, placing on her hand on Giffords' back and wiping back tears. "It will always be one of the great treasures of my life to have met Gabby Giffords and to have served with her in this body,” the Florida congresswoman added. 

Watch the video from the event below.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., resigns from Congress today to focus on recovering from an assassination attempt last year.

Saul Loeb / EPA

A look at the Arizona lawmaker's rise to prominence — from high school to Capitol Hill.