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Giffords makes surprise appearance to lead convention in Pledge of Allegiance

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona – still recovering from being shot last year by a deranged gunman – made a surprise appearance Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention.

She was joined onstage by friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman, in leading the capacity crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Giffords’ name was not listed in the official convention program, but speculation started early in the week that she would make an appearance.

Giffords' speech and mobility remain impaired after the January 2011 shooting during a town hall style meeting in Tucson. She left Congress about eight months ago to focus on her recovery.