Hero Intern Daniel Hernandez: ‘Call to Action for Public Service’

By Eliza

Jan 25, 2011 2:25pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ hero intern, Daniel Hernandez, caps a whirlwind of a month with a seat in First Lady Michele Obama’s box for honored guests at the State of the Union address tonight.

In town for the big night, Hernandez told us on ABC’s “Top Line” today that it’s “bittersweet” to be a guest of the first lady, under the circumstances that leave his boss hospitalized with a gunshot wound.

But he said he looks forward to meeting the family of Christina Taylor Green, the slain 9-year-old whose parents are also guests of the first lady, for the first time tonight.

“I'm looking forward to being able to sit down with them and just have a conversation,” Hernandez told us. “I think it’s going to be very cathartic for myself and I'm hoping for them as well, to be able to just talk about the events and also kind of coming together. I think it’s certainly helped a lot of the other people that are involved in the trauma.”

Hernandez – who turned 21 years old today — said his experience has strengthened his resolve to pursue a career in public service.

“The only thing that I want to come out of this is really two things; the first, a more positive and unified message which the president put out in Tucson at the memorial … and the other is more public service,” he said.

“I've always known that I've wanted to go into public service, and I was inspired by people like Congressmen Giffords to go into it. And the events that happened in Tucson on the 8th only reinforced my desire to go into public service. So I think it should be more of a call to action for public service.”

Watch the “Top Line” segment with Daniel Hernandez HERE.

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