Days after being shot in the head point-blank, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has opened an eye for the first time.
Two of her closest friends from Congress were in Giffords' Tucson, Arizona., hospital room at the time. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida had traveled to Arizona on Air Force One with President Barack Obama to attend a memorial service for the victims of Saturday's shooting rampage.
Obama and first lady Michelle Obama immediately headed to University Medical Center after landing in Tucson, spending about 10 minutes with Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. Soon after, Gillibrand and Wasserman Schultz, along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, got their chance to visit.
Gillibrand says she was holding Giffords' hand as she and Wasserman Schultz recalled dinners and family vacations they'd taken with Giffords. That's when Giffords squeezed Gillibrand's hand and her right eye started to flicker, before finally opening wide.
Wasserman Schultz says, "it was like she was trying to will her eyes open," adding: "It felt like we were watching a miracle."
Giffords' other eye was damaged in the shooting and remains bandaged.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is telling Americans he wants the country to live up to the expectations of a 9-year-old girl.
Christina Taylor Green was among the six people killed in what authorities say was an assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, last weekend. Green had just been elected to her student council, and at a memorial service Wednesday night, Obama told a crowd of thousands that he wants America's "democracy to be as good as she imagined it."
He called on Americans to honor the victims of Saturday's shootings by trying harder to be compassionate and civil. Obama said we may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but "how we treat one another is entirely up to us."
The president implored Americans to talk to each other "in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."