One year after getting shot in the head, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords emerged at the University of Arizona remembrance ceremony to lead the crowd in a rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance.
It was a day of remembrance, filled with both sadness and regret, and newfound hope and joy.
Many wept at the afternoon event as two 10-year-olds remembered their best friend, Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting that wounded Gabby, and killed five others.
The crowd chanted for Gabrielle as she limped to the podium to address the University of Arizona crowd. It has a been a long year for Giffords through months of intensive speech therapy, rehabilitation and re-learning simple tasks like walking and speaking.
Giffords recited the Pledge with the audience, head held high and a smile on her face as she punched each word. "With LIBERTY and JUSTICE for ALL!" the Democratic congresswoman shouted, almost defiantly.
President Barack Obama called Giffords on Sunday to offer his support and tell her he and the First Lady are keeping her, the families of those killed and the whole Tucson community in their thoughts and prayers, according to the White House. He called Giffords an inspiration to all Americans.
Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused of the Arizona shooting has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges. The 23-year-old, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, is being forcibly medicated at a Missouri prison facility in an effort to make him mentally ready for trial.
Giffords' husband, former NASA Astronaut, Mark Kelly said at the remembrance ceremony:
"There's a reality that life is unpredictable, and that 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."
It was great to see Gabrielle Giffords back in action.