Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Resigning from Congress

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WASHINGTON - A little more than a year after suffering a gunshot through her head, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has announced she's resigning her Arizona congressional seat.

Giffords said in a two-minute video released Sunday she still has a long way to go in her recovery, and so for the good of Arizona, she's stepping down.

"I don't remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover," she says in a halting voice on the video to Arizonans, posted on YouTube. Watch the video below.

The congresswoman nearly died when a bullet tore through the left side of her head as suspected gunman Jared Loughner went on a shooting rampage Jan. 8, 2011, killing six and wounding several others.

Though she has made what many call a miraculous recovery, her right side is still weak and she's unable to form complex sentences.

For her last duty as a congresswoman, Giffords plans to complete the "Congress on Your Corner" event in Tucson that was violently cut short.

The congresswoman will also attend Tuesday's "State of the Union" address in Washington, D.C., before her resignation takes effect.

Giffords' husband Mark Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, said he has not ruled out the possibility of taking her place in Congress.

Arizona's Republican governor Jan Brewer said Sunday she'll call for a special primary and election to fill Giffords' seat.

"Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a noble public servant to the State of Arizona, and a model of what can be accomplished with persistence and determination," Brewer said. "Her remarkable recovery over the last year is an inspiration to us all."

"Over the last year, Gabby and her husband Mark have taught us the true meaning of hope in the face of despair, determination in the face of incredible odds," President Obama said, praising Giffords.

"And now - even after she's come so far - Gabby shows us what it means to be selfless as well," he continued. "Gabby's cheerful presence will be missed in Washington. But she will remain an inspiration to all whose lives she touched - myself included."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who will accept Giffords' resignation this week, wrote, "We salute Rep. Giffords for her service and for the courage and perseverance she has shown in the face of tragedy. She will be missed."

Giffords' good friend, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said Sunday it's likely Giffords' recovery from the shooting will take years, not just months.

In the video, swelling music plays in the background while video plays of Giffords' early days learning to again talk and walk.

"I have more work to do on my recovery," she says. "So to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week. I'm getting better. Every day my spirit is high. I will return, and we will work together for Arizona and this great country."

Watch the video of Gifford's announcement below.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.