2011’s Smartest Moments in Pop Culture


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Gabrielle Giffords' Post-recovery Interview
Gabrielle Giffords embraces her husband Mark Kelly at the White House.
Gabrielle Giffords embraces her husband Mark Kelly at the White House.
The White House/Getty Images

Rarely does a top news story as genuinely heartwarming as Gabrielle Giffords' Nov. 14 interview with Diane Sawyer on "20/20" come around. Eleven months earlier, Jared Lee Loughner shot the Arizona congresswoman in the head at point blank range, sending a bullet through her brain and fracturing her skull and eye sockets [source: Webley]. Initially, doctors doubted whether she would walk or speak again, but Giffords has made a remarkable recovery, with her husband Mark Kelly continually supporting and encouraging her. Kelly and Giffords' family has documented her daily recovery process on video, and the "20/20" interview clearly proves the extent of her determination and the brain's incredible capacity to heal itself. Moreover, it's a testament to Giffords' and Kelly's loving, persistent dedication to each other, making it a must-see moment of 2011.

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