CHICAGO (CBS) –Two Chicago area residents have received invitations to attend President Obama’s State of the Union address, for markedly different reasons.
Senator Mark Kirk’s physical therapist when he was at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago will be Kirk’s guest for tomorrow night’s speech.
“I didn’t expect this at all,” said physical therapist Michael Klonowski.
Klonowski was Senator Kirk’s primary physical therapist. And he was there when Kirk climbed the capitol steps. And Kirk wants him to be there at the State of the Union.
“I got the phone call and every time I think that things are about as good as they’re going to get,” says Klonoski. “I was honored to walk the stairs with him. Just a few seconds of fame being up there with my famous patient. And then getting to see him on the Senate stairs – oh my gosh, it can’t get better than that. And all of a sudden.”
All of a sudden, Klonowski says, it is.
Klonowski, 32, has worked at the Rehab Institute for four years. He’s a native of Cleveland, Ohio.
Republican or Democrat?
“I would like to say that I’m a moderate,” Klonowski says.
Meanwhile, Carolyn Murray got her invitation over the phone a week and a half ago from Congressman Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston. It was a thank-you for Murray’s activism in the face of an unspeakable tragedy.
Her son Justin was gunned down last November. He died at age 19.
“Part my life was missing because of my son, but it won’t stop me from fighting for for this,” Murray tells CBS 2’s Jim Williams.
Her fight against gun violence actually began long before Justin’s death.
“For it to happen to me, it sends a message: It can happen to anyone,” she says.