WASHINGTON (WUSA9) — Democrats and Republicans are getting together. The Congressional baseball game is on, exactly a year after the shooting at the GOP practice in Alexandria.
A man from Illinois hit four people before Capitol Police shot him to death.
RELATED: Rep. Scalise returns to ballpark one year after shooting
For the injured survivors, there's horror at the attack. But there's also a strange longing for the brief bipartisan spirit it engendered.
For a moment, we were not just Republicans and Democrats, Red States and Blue States...We were Americans.
It didn't last long.
But at the game tonight, survivors are hoping we can bring it back, at least for a few hours.
Majority whip Steve Scalise has been practicing. He was the most grievously injured. A single bullet tore through his hip, shattering his femur, and ripping open blood vessels.
Nine surgeries later, and he was giving blood before the game.
"We want to leave it all on the field. But we want to be able to come back after the game too, so we will see if they clear me, after all the surgeries I've had," he said.
Scalise is planning to play second base for the Republicans.
Congressional aide Zack Barth was shot too. The round went right through his calf, but it could have been worse.
"I see him turn the rifle toward me, shoots me five to ten times. At that point, he hits me in the leg. At that point, I decide I'm not going to let this guy play target practice on me. I get up and run to the the dugout, where I remained for the remainder of the shooting."
He ran right into his boss' arms, who had broken his ankle diving for cover.
"Zach's 24, I'm 68. We have several generations between us. But we held each other in our arms that day, during the shooting. We created a bond that will live forever," said Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas)
Maybe a friendly game between Republicans and Democrats can find that magic again, at least for a moment. "Surely we disagree on a lot," said Barth. "But we also have a lot in common. We're all Americans, we all love the game of baseball. And we're all out to have fun for one night."
The Democrats won last year's game 11 to 2. But the Republicans say it doesn't count, because they had guys on crutches, and players in the hospital. For the game, the trash talking is friendly. And both sides are predicting a win.
First pitch is at 7:05, the gates open at 5:30, and all the money raised goes to charity.