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Giffords, Kelly honor US Merchant Marine grads

Ex-astronaut Kelly, former Arizona Rep. Giffords honor Merchant Marine Academy graduates in NY By The Associated Press

KINGS POINT, N.Y. (AP) ' Former astronaut Mark Kelly has urged graduates of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to persevere when faced with unexpected challenges, much like his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, did.

Kelly said Monday that he and Giffords have dedicated their lives to public service and encouraged the graduates to do the same.

He said Giffords often tells him: "Be passionate, be strong, be your best."

Giffords was seated with other dignitaries. She enthusiastically sang the National Anthem and waved to her husband as the ceremony started.

She left Congress to concentrate on her recovery from a 2011 assassination attempt in Arizona that left six dead.

Kelly graduated from the academy in 1986. He was commander of the space shuttle Endeavor's final mission.

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