By Shaun Boyd

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS4)– A year after a gunman opened fire on a Republican Congressional baseball team, Republicans and Democrats will be back on the field Thursday for their annual charity game.

The shooting injured four people including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who nearly died. He will back on the field this year along with Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican representing Colorado.

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(credit: CBS)

“I think it’s just important to let people know we’re not going let a tragedy like that keep us down or let America down,” Buck said in an interview from the last practice.

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(credit: CBS)

The game marks a personal milestone for him. Five years ago, he underwent his final chemotherapy treatment for lymphoma.

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(credit: CBS)

“This is sort of a goal for me to be able to get back in shape. I’m enjoying as much as can waking up at 2:30 in the morning Colorado time,” he joked, “enjoying practices and being physical again. I think the most important part of battling cancer is just appreciating every day… days like this where you see the sunrise.”

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Rep. Ken Buck (R) Colorado (credit: CBS)

It may be just a baseball game. But this year, Buck says, it has taken on special meaning.

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(credit: CBS)

“I think it’s an important game to make sure America understands there are issues that divide Republicans and Democrats but there are far more things that we have in common and this an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to get on the field together, enjoy a game, raise money for charity and… I’m really looking forward to helping the team.”

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(credit: CBS)

Buck will play backup pitcher at Thursday’s game. Scalise will be back at second base. The game will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs and Capitol Police Memorial Fund, among others.

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(credit: CBS)

Shaun Boyd is CBS4’s political specialist. She’s a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter @cbs4shaun.

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