There are probably many lessons, most of them painful, from the long partisan debate about the federal debt-ceiling bill. But the image we hope members of Congress will remember is the emotional moment when one of their own overcame injuries to appear in the House for the vote.

The injured U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz, is still recovering from a shooting in Tucson earlier this year. She had been informed earlier that the compromise bill would pass, but she wanted to cast her vote for the legislation as a duty to her constituents.

Her appearance in the House represents a reminder that the important things in life don’t always revolve around the party line, and that more should be uniting members than dividing them.

We hope those reminders remain with the politicians despite their poor performance so far this year.