House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) made a triumphant return to the Capitol on Thursday for the first time since he was shot at a GOP baseball practice in June.

“You have no idea how great this feels to be back here at work in the people’s House,” Scalise said before a House chamber packed with lawmakers greeting him with standing ovations.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' MORE (R-Wis.) presided over the floor as Scalise made his way inside on crutches, still struggling slightly to walk.

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Scalise was among four people shot by a gunman on June 14 as GOP lawmakers practiced for the annual charity Congressional Baseball Game. A member of his Capitol Police security detail, a staffer for Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsLessons learned from a failed bet on 'Housing First' The CFPB's data overreach hurts the businesses it claims to help Early redistricting plans show GOP retrenching for long haul MORE (R-Texas) and a Tyson Foods lobbyist were also injured.
 
As he reflected on what happened on the Alexandria, Va., field that day, Scalise said the outpouring of support from members of both parties gave him perspective on the need for civility in politics.
 
“It’s so important that as we’re having those political battles, we don’t make them personal,” Scalise said. 
 
But the calls from world leaders particularly stood out to him.
 
“What it says is, sure, they cared about my well-being. But more than that, they saw this as an attack on all of us. They saw this as an attack on the institution of the United States Congress and our government. And they really count on us to be successful,” Scalise said.

Scalise thanked the “true angels” that saved his life, including a member of his Capitol Police detail, David Bailey, who was seated in the front row of the visitors' gallery.

“David, you are my hero, you saved my life,” Scalise said.

Scalise also thanked Crystal Griner, the other member of Scalise’s Capitol Police detail who helped take down the shooter but was not able to attend his address on Thursday
 
Lawmakers who were at the baseball practice that day have said the scene likely would have turned into a massacre had it not been for the presence of the Capitol Police officers assigned to protect Scalise. 
 
Scalise spent weeks at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center to recover from injuries that nearly cost him his life. He underwent multiple surgeries after a bullet went through his hip, damaging his femur and pelvis.
 
His team of doctors at MedStar Washington Hospital Center were also on hand in the visitors' gallery as Scalise thanked them for giving him “a second chance at life.”
 
Scalise noted he was lucky that a doctor-turned-lawmaker, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), happened to be at the baseball practice that day.
 
“Who would have thought that God would have put Brad out there on that field with me? Because the tourniquet that he applied, many will tell you, saved my life so I that could actually make it to the hospital in time with all the blood loss,” Scalise said, before embracing Wenstrup. 
 
Scalise’s return was kept tightly under wraps and did not become publicly known until his office sent out an email with a two-word subject line about an hour before the House conducted votes Thursday morning: “He’s back.”
 
Scalise’s office said that he will be resuming work at the Capitol while completing an "extended period" of out-patient rehabilitation over the coming months.
 
His surprise return offered a brief moment of bipartisan comity in a chamber full of members accustomed to publicly sparring with each other. Some lawmakers could be seen wiping their eyes as they watched Scalise reflect on his recovery.
 
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), a friend of Scalise and his baseball competitor, sat on the GOP side of the chamber directly behind Scalise.
 
Scalise noted that Richmond, still in baseball uniform, was one of the first people to visit him at MedStar Washington Hospital Center on the day he was shot.
 
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed Ryan in a brief floor speech following Scalise’s remarks to say that “our prayers are answered,” joking that their shared Italian-American heritage gave him strength.
 
She later crossed the House chamber to give Scalise a hug.
 
Once Ryan called the next vote, dozens of lawmakers quickly lined up to greet Scalise for hugs and selfies. (House Republicans voted in January to make photography on the floor punishable by fine, but they seemed willing to let that go on Thursday.)
 
Despite the challenges he’s faced since getting shot, Scalise said the outpouring of encouragement and support has only strengthened his faith in other people.
 
“While some people might focus on a tragic event and an evil act, to me, all I remember are the thousands of acts of kindness and love and warmth that came out of this and kept me going through all of it,” Scalise said.
 
“Just seeing the faces of all of you, it just means more to me than you can imagine.”