Gabrielle Giffords: 'I Struggle With Speech. But I Have Not Lost My Voice'

Carla Herreria Russo
·2 min read

Nine years after being shot in the head while meeting with constituents, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) delivered an emotional speech Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention, urging Americans to address gun violence by voting for Joe Biden.

“I’ve known the darkest of days, days of pain and uncertain recovery. But confronted by despair, I’ve summoned hope,” Giffords said in a recorded speech that played after a clip of her playing the French horn aired.

“Confronted by paralysis and aphasia, I’ve responded with grit and determination,” the former congresswoman said.

“I put one foot in front of the other. I found one word and then I found another. My recovery is a daily fight, but fighting makes me stronger. Words once came easily; today I struggle with speech. But I have not lost my voice.”

Wednesday’s speech was the longest Giffords has given since she became a victim of a mass shooting in 2011, according to The New York Times.

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Giffords was shot after a gunman opened fire at an event she was holding at a grocery store in Arizona. The shooting left six people dead, including one of Giffords’ staff members, and wounded more than a dozen others.

Giffords suffered a brain injury and has been recovering and advocating for better gun laws ever since.

Convention organizers said that Giffords worked “intensely” to deliver her speech, NBS News reported.

Her plea to Americans moved many who still remembered the day the shooting occurred.

“America needs all of us to speak out, even when you have to fight to find the words,” Giffords said Wednesday night. “We are at a crossroads. We can let the shooting continue or we can act. We can protect our families, our future. We can vote.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.