In The News
Most Inspiring Moments of 2011
She had me at hello. When Gabrielle Giffords returned to Congress to cast her vote on the debt ceiling a mere 7 months after being shot in the head, she solidified herself with me as one of the most inspiring people of the year and for the most inspiring moment of 2011. Her cheerful smile, handshakes and waves hello to her peers on both sides of the aisle, coupled with her staunch resolve to make a difference for this nation could only make you cry and applaud with joy at the same time.
And speaking of crying and applauding that is the essence of the emotions evoked from other inspiring moments this year. My next moment is in the same vain as Gabrielle Gifford. It proves that everything is possible, but the impossible just takes a little longer. It comes from watching Austin Whitney walk across the stage at the University of California Berkeley commencement to receive his diploma. And while every college grads moment is touching this one was extraordinary. Austin actually walked with the help of an exoskeleton after being told he would never do it again. The aspiring freshman who left high school with a perfect 4.0 GPA was paralyzed in a car accident that severed his spinal cord just below the hip just weeks before his college career was to begin. He wanted to make his parents proud again after making a terrible error in judgment and driving while drunk which resulted in his crash. He completed his college studies within 4 years with the rest of his class and took 7 steps across the stage to receive his diploma.
I couldn’t help but feel hopeful upon watching the exchange of vows at the Royal Wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. I was inspired by the sacrifice and service that was honored during the 10th Anniversary Commemoration of September 11th. And the kindness that neighbors showed for one another and from the volunteers who worked to rebuild Joplin, Missouri after a tornado destroyed 25% of the town was incredible.
There were many other inspiring moment this year. These are my top 5. What are yours?