Published: Jan 17, 2011 6:21 PM EST
Updated: Jan 17, 2011 3:24 PM EST

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) - Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is a reminder that the country must remain vigilant in pursuing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s teachings of nonviolence.

 The two Democratic House members are friends. Giffords and 18 others were shot Jan. 8 when a gunman opened fire at a meet-and-greet outside a supermarket in Tucson, Ariz. Six people died.

 In a statement Monday, Wasserman Schultz says the shooting has reminded her that "words have the power to hurt and to heal." She says the country needs "a new tone of civility in our public discourse."

She says, "Let us show the world that there is so much more that unites us than divides us."

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)