I've been looking forward to President Obama's big speech at the Democratic National Convention here in Charlotte since I got down here on Tuesday morning. Little did I expect, though, that it would be Gabrielle Giffords' recital of the "Pledge of Allegiance" that would literally leave me speechless. The Arizona shooting victim and former congresswoman stepped out onstage alongside DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz tonight and was met with a standing ovation from the audience.
The scene was nothing less than beautiful. Wasserman Schultz assisted Giffords as she limped toward the center stage. Giffords looked absolutely beautiful, perfectly fitting white blazer, hair stunningly coiffed, and a massive admirable grin on her face. After "Gabby" cheers rang through the convention center, she began:
"I pledge allegiance, to the flag ..."
That's about where I and every single person watching Giffords, both at home and watching in person, lost it. Watch the footage, here:
I have no words (almost). Every single time I watch the video, I tear up. Giffords' strength is admirable, and her story of triumph and recovery is truly inspirational. To watch her walk across that stage with such pride after such a tragedy, it reminds me that the small issues I deal with on a day-to-day ... well, things could be a whole lot worse.
After her appearance on stage, Giffords' husband Mark Kelly told CNN that "she was really excited for it." I'm pretty sure her excitement was 100 percent contagious tonight.
What did you think of Giffords' appearance on stage at the DNC? Did you tear up, too?
Image via DNCconvention2012/ YouTube