Former Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt on January 8, 2011 at a constituent event, took the stage at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Supported by her longtime friend and colleague, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Giffords fought through the words in a spirited voice as convention attenders cheered her on and shed some tears, reports Yahoo! News.
Giffords walked haltingly across the stage with the help of Wasserman Schultz, blowing kisses to the crowd, who gave her a prolonged standing ovation while they chanted “Gabby! Gabby!”
ABC News notes that Newark Mayor Cory Booker tweeted during Giffords’ appearance:
“Ok, now Gabby Giffords just made me cry. What a testimony to strength, resilience, perseverance and beauty!”
Rumors ran rampant on Wednesday afternoon that the former Arizona congresswoman would make an appearance at the Charlotte DNC convention, but a spokeswoman did not confirm her appearance until Wednesday night.
Along with Cory Booker, other DNC audience members and members of the media also tweeted about Giffords’ appearance to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, saying:
— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) September 7, 2012
Gabby Giffords leading the Pledge of Allegiance is an inspiration to all Americans.
— Eric Cantor (@EricCantor) September 7, 2012
Whatever your politics, the Gabby Giffords story is incredibly moving. #dnc2012
— The Fix (@TheFix) September 6, 2012
August was a busy month for Gabby Giffords, who resigned from Congress in January. On August 13, Giffords moved from a rehab facility in Houston back to Tucson where she will continue therapy. Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, also revealed the formation of a political action committee on Tuesday, called Gabby PAC.
Check out the video below to see Gabby Giffords recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the DNC Thursday night: