Hoyer Speaks on Naming U.S. Capitol Meeting Room After Gabe Zimmerman

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“Mr. Speaker, all of us who serve in this House know that we could not do the work we do without the help of our extraordinarily able and motivated staffs. They work long hours with pay below their counterparts in the executive branch and in the private sector. Many are young, in their twenties and thirties, with an energy and passion for public service that gives all of us great hope for the future.

“Gabe Zimmerman was one of these passionate and dedicated staffers, who loved his job working for our beloved friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. He was a bridge between the Congresswoman and individuals and constituent groups in her district, fostering and expanding each day the most important relationships a member of Congress maintains.

“Gabe Zimmerman was the first congressional staffer in history to lose his life in the line of duty. In the 222 year history of the House of Representatives, he lost his life defending democracy. He was not the object of attack but a victim, along with six others, of a domestic terrorist intent on assassinating Congresswoman Giffords and randomly killing people participating in one of democracy’s most basic activities – the discussion between constituents and their representative. Members of my own staff were profoundly shaken by this event, realizing that it could have been them or any staffer participating with their Member in any public or even private event.

“It is entirely fitting that we rename in his memory a room where, every day, members and our staff come together to further the representation of the American people. Every day when we enter that room we will remember Gabe Zimmerman. Gabe Zimmerman died while serving his country and we honor him for that service. But let me say to every staffer who serves with us by doing so we honor you as well, your contributions and the contributions of all staff who like Gabe strive to make this country a better one for all Americans. We send to Gabe’s parents our deepest sympathy for a loss that cannot be compensated, but tell them that we share their extraordinary pride in this American hero.”