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September 6th, 2012
11:21 PM ET

Gabby Giffords' emotional appearance at the Democratic National Convention

CNN's Erin Burnett talks to Retired American Astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Fmr. Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Gabby Giffords makes emotional appearance at DNC

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made an emotional return to the political stage Thursday night when she led the pledge of allegiance at the Democratic National Convention.

Giffords, who stepped down from Congress in January to focus on her recovery from a shooting that left her grievously wounded, walked out with good friend Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz by her side.

Her appearance brought the capacity crowd at Time Warner Cable arena to their feet in an ovation that lasted more than a minute and spurred chants of "Gabby, Gabby!"

Many of those in the audience were visibly moved.

Giffords delivered the pledge in a clear strong voice, her left hand holding up her right hand – that side left weakened by the bullet wound to her brain – to her heart.

She left the stage blowing kisses to the crowd, again prompting another rousing ovation and chants of her name

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