Daniel Hernandez Jr., the intern who aided Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) until medical personnel arrived after she was shot earlier this month, will be attending President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 25, as a guest of Michelle Obama, according to ABC News.
Hernandez -- an out gay, Hispanic college student -- has received praise from local officials up to and including Obama himself for his actions on Jan. 8.
[Hernandez said,] "I'm both honored and excited to have the opportunity to travel to our nation's Capitol for a once in a lifetime event. Also the chance to bring my father along for his first trip to Washington, D.C. The State of the Union is a pivotal moment because it is our opportunity to find where we are and where we will be going as a nation in this upcoming year."
The prospect of Hernandez being invited to attend the speech was raised by bloggers and on Twitter and Facebook in the days after the shooting, including when Hernandez spoke at the memorial event at which Obama also spoke that was held in Arizona earlier this month.
Tuesday, incidentally, will be Hernandez's 21st birthday, according to his profile on Facebook.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that "[t]he next step [in the criminal case related to the shooting] is an arraignment scheduled Monday afternoon in Phoenix for [Jared] Loughner, who is accused of opening fire on a Giffords political event two weeks ago in a rampage that wounded 13 people and killed six others, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl born on Sept. 11, 2001."
[Photo: Hernandez and Giffords. (Photo from Facebook.)]