Congresswoman Gabby GiffordsSince last Saturday’s shooting in Tucson, Ariz., Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ district office has become a mecca for mourners and well-wishers, and today there was a welcome surprise as Pam Simon — one of the staffers injured in the shooting — returned to the office for the first time.

The office has hosted a stream of constituents, friends and volunteers offering condolences and long hugs.

Staffers decided that opening the office on Monday morning as usual would send an important message.

“No act of depravity would be enough to close down this small little outpost of our government,” he says. “The office is open, our government is open, our democracy is open and that hasn’t changed.”

(LISTEN to the inspiring story or read it at NPR’s All Things Considered)

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