The couple received Medals of Valor from the Simon Wiesenthal Center at the center's annual national tribute dinner at the Beverly Hilton.
Giffords, was seriously injured in a January 2011 shooting in Tucson that killed six people. Giffords represented the Tucson area in the U.S. House of Representatives. She resigned this year in January to concentrate on her ongoing recovery from the shooting.
Kelly sat vigil beside his wife's bedside in the days after she was shot and retired from NASA's astronaut corps and the Navy because of her needs.
During Wednesday night's speech, Kelly spoke of Giffords' recovery.
"She does not give up," said Kelly at the podium with Giffords. "Often as she heads off to therapy each morning, her last words to me after she gets in the car, is what?"
"Fight, fight, fight!" said Giffords.
City News Service contributed to this report.