(AFP) – Sep 6, 2012
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Gabrielle Giffords will deliver the pledge of allegiance on Thursday at the Democratic convention, capping the Arizona lawmaker's amazing recovery from the Tucson shooting.
Deranged gunman Jared Loughner killed six people and injured 13 others, including the congresswoman, who he shot through the head at pointblank range in an attempted assassination at a political hustings event in January 2011.
A senior Democratic official confirmed that Giffords would deliver the pledge of allegiance later Thursday, a great honor as it kicks off proceedings before Barack Obama accepts the presidential nomination with a prime-time speech.
In January this year, 42-year-old Giffords -- who had been seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party -- resigned from Congress to focus on her remarkable but continuing recovery.
Loughner opened fire on January 8, 2011, outside a Tucson supermarket where Giffords, a Democrat, was meeting with constituents.
Among the six dead were a federal judge, a nine-year-old girl and a member of the congresswoman's staff.
By changing his plea to guilty in August, Loughner, 23, will avoid the death penalty, but he still faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
America was left reeling by another mass shooting tragedy in July when a young, psychologically disturbed gunman shot 70 cinema-goers, 12 of them fatally, during the midnight premiere of a Batman film in Aurora, Colorado.
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