At Vigil, Giffords Recites 'Pledge of Allegiance'
Stunned crowd moved to tears
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 9, 2012 2:58 AM CST
People hold candles during a memorial vigil remembering the victims and survivors one year after a gunman shot Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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(Newser) – Congresswoman Gabby Giffords brought down the house last night with a resounding declaration of the "Pledge of Allegiance" at a candlelight vigil marking the first anniversary of the day she was shot in the head by a gunman. Her voice rang out sure and strong as she led the massive crowd just months after she had to relearn how to speak and walk. Those gathered at the Tucson vigil, many in tears, chanted: "Gabby, Gabby." She limped to the stage, and supported her stiff right arm over her heart with her left hand as she smilingly launched into the show-stopper, reports AP.

“It gives you goose bumps,” a construction worker in the crowd told the New York Times. “It’s good to see her. She looked really good.” Giffords' appearance capped a day of events at the University of Arizona to remember the six killed and 12 wounded after a gunman opened fire at a political event in a local Safeway. "Those of us who survived were forever changed by that moment," said Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly. "For the past year, we've had new realities to live with, the reality and pain of letting go of the past. There's a reality that life is unpredictable, and even in the best of times, our cherished friends, the good, the caring, the innocent among us, the closest and dearest people we know, can be taken from us."