Hernandez: I Am Not a Hero
BY Advocate.com Editors
January 12 2011 9:05 PM ET
Speaking Wednesday night at a memorial service for the victims of Saturday's shooting in Tucson, Daniel Hernandez, the gay intern
credited with helping to save the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, said he appreciates the outpouring of support, but he does not believe he is a hero.
"Although I appreciate the sentiment, I must reject the word hero, for I am not one," Hernandez said to a cheering crowd. He then said the victims of the shooting, including Giffords, are "the real heroes ... the people who have dedicated themselves to public service."
Hernandez was seated next to Barack and Michelle Obama during the service, held at the University of Arizona. Later, Obama took to the stage and commended the 20-year-old intern.
"We are grateful to Daniel Hernandez," he said. "I am sorry, Daniel, you may deny it, but we decided you are a hero because you ran through the chaos to minister to your boss and tend to her wounds and helped keep her alive."
Obama announced during his speech that moments after he visited Giffords at the hospital, she had opened her eyes for the first time since the shooting.
Read a transcript of Obama's speech on the next page and check back for video.