Gabrielle Giffords

Gabrielle Giffords waves to a crowd gathered at the Rialto Theater Saturday.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Former Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords led the Pledge of Allegiance during the Democratic National Convention Thursday night.

With assistance walking, Giffords, who has spent the last year and a half recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, stood center stage to lead the pledge.

Many in the audience cried as Giffords recited the pledge, and at one point they also changed "Gabby."

She led the pledge ahead of President Barack Obama giving his acceptance speech for his party's reelection efforts on the last day of the convention.

Giffords, who stepped down from office after being shot in the head last year, has made strides in her recovery, and has done so with President Obama standing by her side.

Days after Giffords was shot at the Safeway Shopping Center on Ina Road on Jan. 11, 2011, President Obama along with First Lady Michele Obama flew to Tucson.

Obama gave a speech that received high praise from both sides of the aisle, and announced to a healing Tucson audience of thousands that Giffords had opened her eyes for the first time while he was there.

There is no word on if Obama will be present when the former Congresswoman, who recently moved back to Tucson from Houston, leads the final night of the convention in the pledge.

Giffords, who has had to work on speech therapy, also led a Tucson audience in the pledge on the one-year anniversary of the shooting with husband, Mark Kelly, and newly-elected State Rep and former Giffords' aid, Ron Barber by her side.

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