President Obama and Daniel Hernandez remind us that we are one nation

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Daniel Hernandez

Daniel Hernandez humbly said he doesn't want to be called a hero.

"Although I appreciate the sentiment, I must humbly reject the use of the word hero, because I am not one,"  the University of Arizona student and intern who helped save Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' life said at the Wednesday night vigil for the shooting victims in Tucson.

He said the heroes are those who dedicate their lives to public service.

Although he doesn't want to be called a hero, this young political science student deserves the recognition. And our country needs more young leaders like him.  Maybe some day a young man like him will become our first Latino president.

You can link to his speech excerpt here.

President Obama also praised Hernandez in his speech in Tucson Wednesday night.

"We are grateful for Daniel Hernandez, a volunteer in Gabby's office who ran through the chaos to minister to his boss, tending to her wounds to keep her alive," Obama said.

Hernandez called for unity which was a theme of the night.

"On Saturday, we all became Tucsonians. On Saturday, we all became Arizonans. And above all we all became Americans," he said.

Obama set the tone by calming us down as a nation that is stronger when we are united.

But what we can't do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.

It is a reminder that we shouldn't let race or ethnicity, political beliefs or religion divide us. What makes our nation strong is that we can celebrate this diversity but we must do so peacefully.

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