Sunday, January 16, 2011

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight doesn't consider himself a hero, or what he recently did as heroic. But to President Barack Obama, the family and friends of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the people of Tuscon, state of Arizona, the United States , and anyone else in the world who read of his actions during last week's shooting, he is a hero. Today's Out Spotlight is Daniel Hernandez.

Hernandez is a 20 yr old University of Arizona student who started his internship in Rep. Gifford's office the Monday before the shooting, but was no stranger to Giffords, he was friendly with the congresswoman for several years. He is credited as one of the first in a string of people credited with saving Rep Giffords' life.

His mother, Consuelo, is from Mexico and his father is from California. His mother came to the United States about a year before Daniel was born in Tucson, in 1990.

At 20 he was already a political vet. He volunteered for Hillary Clinton's campaign, and volunteered helping Giffords get re-elected in 2008. After working for Clinton, Hernandez told Time Magazine in 2008, "I tried to find someone else who I could admire and help them get elected. Gabby immediately stood out." He has also served as a campaign manager for a state representative and teaches young people how to run effective races. But the skill that may have counted most was the first aid he learned as part of a certified nurses' assisting program.

Hearing the first shots. "I immediately knew that if there was a target, she would likely be it," he "I tuned everything out and started going into critical-thinking mode, which was that you need to get whoever's still alive some help until EMTs arrive."

On his way towards Giffords he checked several other for pulses, he ran to the Congresswoman, who was slumped over and by herself. Immediately he thought that the head injury might cause her to choke on her own blood, so he held her up, and held the bleeding wound with his hand until employees from inside the Safeway brought him clean smocks. He stayed there until emergency services arrived. "I can't tell you how long it was," he says. "It felt like an infinity."

While he was with Rep. Giffords he held her hand, telling her to squeeze it, if she was in pain, which she did. He rode with her in the ambulance and explained what was going on while trying to contact her husband Mark Kelly and her parents. "The only thing that really sticks out, is when I talked to Gabby and let her know that I was going to get a hold of Mark, when I mentioned Mark and her parents, she squeezed my hand extra tight."

Hernandez has become a hero for both the Hispanic and gay communities. "I think that what Daniel did has nothing to do with his sexuality, but being that he is openly gay, I think that it's really amazing and incredible to have someone within the gay community, particularly a young person, who can be seen as doing something heroic," says Danielle Flink, who serves with Hernandez on Tucson's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender commission. Time Magazine summed it up best, "In a time when both of those minorities have been at the center of heated, emotional debates about immigration and bullying, he has served as a model of reason and strength."

Despite the accolades from local and federal officals Hernández says he's no hero. According to Hernández the real heroes are Congresswoman Giffords and the others who were hurt and killed in the shooting.

"I think if there's a takeaway from this, the first is, public service needs to become a higher priority for everyone. But also making sure that as we move forward, we come together, regardless of race, gender, whatever, and come together as Americans. Because it's not just a Tucson tragedy. It's not just an Arizona tragedy. It's a national tragedy." - Daniel Hernandez

.....I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. ...

...And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Me said...

Plus where has his career gone? poor decisions and bad advice but he still doesn't get it.

I agree.

AUS10 said...

Susannah York. You will be missed. Kisses. Please watch THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY? Great film with Miss York by Sydney Pollack. about 2 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

OwlGirl said...

WELL, I was going to stay away for a bit after the comment I made the other day that I think annoyed some folks.

But I just wanted to pop in and tell SK what a wonderful, moving post you put together today. Beautiful. Thank you.

destiny said...

Owlgirl, as far as I can see all the criticism is coming from trolls, so just ignore them.

Agree PG that Jake isn't looking too happy; he seems to have completely lost his mojo. You'd think someone with a GG nomination would be out celebrating and cutting loose with his colleagues. Can't help wondering if he's on the prowl for a new beard, hence the less than thrilled look.

Wonder why Soapy wasn't there, she's one of the celebrity hosts/organizers for that group--or have we just not gotten photos yet.

Meryl said...

You can call me troll if you want, but to me it's a difference discussing a BV, TT's potential relationship with Grey Goose and potential babies, but spreading rumors that actor Jake Gyllenhaal might be HIV positive goes too far. I get that the lack of information or confirmation from Casablanca is frustrating to some and Jake not behaving the way that you'd expect from 2005 Toothy Tile, but in my opinion some things go to far and some of the venom towards Jake G. as well.

Jersey Tom said...

Great Spotlight for this week. Heros like Daniel and Mark Bingham(United 93) are the type of folks that should make the Gay community and the Str8 community of America very proud.

Enjoy the game SK and Destiny.
Those two QB's. WOW!

destiny said...

They should call it the beauty bowl Tom.

the real m said...

Wonderful spotlight today. I had heard about this man and his actions but did not realize he was so young.

What a disappointing game. I looked forward to watching the Patriots all week. They were so lackadaisical. No sense of urgency at all. I dont know what was up with them.

I dont watch award shows anymore, so am counting on somebody to let me know if Jake wins. Not that the Globe means all that much. The timing of the lawsuit is embarrassing.

Jake's perpetual frown is just another symptom of his change in priorities. If he does not enjoy the work anymore, he should open a restaurant or something. There is nothing worse that doing a job you don't enjoy. He is young enough to do whatever else he wants.

What lawsuit? said...

Pray tell.

destiny said...

Woo hooooooooo!!!!!

Can't believe the Jets won. And yes, agree M that it seemed a little bit like the Patriots didn't really show up tonight.

What lawsuit?

A pr woman for the Golden Globes who was fired last year has brought a lawsuit claiming that the people who run the GGs are paid bribes, etc. and that it determines who wins.

gone with the wind said...

I just think now your are maso! keep posting about a guy who deeply annoy you let me perplex!
Anyway I agree with real M , jake should stop acting and open his restaurant he would have peace for real...and at last this blog wouldn't make sense anymore.

prairiegirl said...

Prairiegirl, if you are so annoyed with Jake then it's simple, stop following him. Your constant complaints make you sound pathetic.

Bite me.

prairiegirl said...

Hey Dest, congrats to your Jets. Sympathies extended to Special who must still be hurting even yet this morning.

OwlGirl, you are fine. As I said before, you are to be commended for merely having the guts to regularly post on OMG with a regular name. Good gosh, if I could have a nickel for every time I've said something on this blog that hacked somebody off (i.e. see above, lol), I would be an early retiree down at the lake somewhere.

prairiegirl said...

Special, this Spotlight today was truly beautiful. When I read this guy's story on right after the tragedy, I was so impressed and just awed. 20 years old. That's incredible.

Whenever on earth did he have time to complete schooling to be a phys. assistant? You know, that takes a lot of classes and lab time. I'm curious as to why he went into politics instead of medicine, too. His statement was great. I had not read that - incredibly well said with no drama attached. His age just blows me away.

Special K said...

Jake looked great last night at the Golden Globes. The man can just work a tux.

Know it was a long shot for him to win, but who isn't curious about what he would have said if he did.
Giamatti? Didn't expect that, must say.

And Jake must be a little down not about Golden Globes, but as a Pats fan.

Me? -- Spring Training in 40 days 3 hours and 56 mins

Opening Day in 81 day 3 hours and 56 mins,

Special K said...

Before the Golden Globes Jake had lunch with Busy Philips and her family.


PEOPLE said...

• Chateau Marmont regulars John Krasinski and Emily Blunt had a special guest during their recent visit: Jake Gyllenhaal. Jake and John jumped into conversation right away, and soon enough their table was filled with laughter – and wine! – as the group shared a happy toast.

wft2 said...

saw pics of the dress Jenny Lewis wore last night and it's the similar dress Reese wore at the L.A. premiere of Monsters vs Aliens, Jenny has a yellow in hers but otherwise it's the same.