Every step she took with her paralyzed arm at her side, you worried she might fall, might collapse, might become blocked because there were so many people and a phalanx of photographers. 

I watched her face, her carefully done hair, her handsome suit, but most of all those eyes of determination and courage. This was not easy, this was not what she was used to before that day at the Safeway. This was not what her life was supposed to be. Yet she put herself out there, in the line of a different kind of fire, armed with words that contained more power than any weapon.

In just over 60 seconds she told the senators and the crowd that they needed to have courage, they needed to act, they needed to step up.  She talked about the children and she read from a lined piece of notebook paper, not unlike what would have been on top of their little desks.

She read slowly, haltingly, yet with emotion and strength.  You had to tear up when you felt her empathy and her pain and her struggle.  What she said with those few words was a triumph of the human spirit.  She should be listened to, and the senators should answer her call. The country owes her that much.

— This post was intended to appear Jan. 31 but did not due to a publishing error.