Gabrielle Giffords Leads INSPIRING Pledge of Allegiance at DNC

9/6/2012 5:08 PM PDT

Gabrielle Giffords just appeared on stage at the Democratic National Convention and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance ... and the crowd erupted in an emotionally charged applause.

Giffords -- who is still recovering from the gunshot wound she suffered to her head during a shooting while meeting with constituents at a supermarket in Tucson in January 2011 -- was escorted to the stage by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

While Giffords had some trouble enunciating some of the words, she finished strong ... sporting a big smile while the crowd cheered her on.

After she finished, the crowd chanted her name ... with some people shedding proud tears.

Check out the clip -- pretty awesome.