Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shines at DNC

As many of you may recall, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ speech and mobility were impaired in a Tucson shooting that nearly took her life in January 2011, so close friend, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, guided her onto stage to assist in walking at the Democratic National Convention. Giffords has kept a low profile since the incident and the decision to leave Congress in January to focus on her recovery.

Her performance at the Democratic National Convention, however, made quite the statement. Aside from the fact that she was there in support of Barack Obama’s re-election, Giffords made a stand for herself.

The former congresswoman shined the whole time she was on stage. As she went through the pledge, many people in the arena delivered it along with her, putting my roommate and me in tears.

Reciting the Pledge was more than just support for Obama; it was her distinguishing her recovery in a world of adversity. Saying the Pledge was her way of standing up for herself, for America and for democracy itself.

Though she’s now out of Congress and working on physical therapy for her brain injury, she’s not out of politics. She recently launched a new political action committee, Gabby PAC, according to the Huffington Post.

Staying true to her democratic roots, Giffords’ PAC is to be co-chaired by a Democrat and a Republican: Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, and Trey Grayson, the former Republican Kentucky Secretary of State.

Jan Lesher, formerly the chief of staff for operations for the Department of Homeland Security, will be the group’s treasurer. Giffords’ PAC reflects the priorities that she focused on as a congresswoman, specifically issues relating to boosting the economy, supporting renewable energy, enhancing veterans affairs and creating more opportunities for young people.

Sure, she might not be an active congresswoman anymore and may have stumbled over a few words during her delivery, but the recovering politician got through the entire Pledge with a beaming smile on her face and found herself well received with the roar of applause from the audience. This woman is an unquestionable inspiration, and an example of what every Americans should strive to be, a brave-hearted Patriot.