The president’s speech on the Arizona shootings last night was magnanimous and worthy of his office. But I have an unfortunate thing for those forced to listen to political rhetoric: I have a memory. One passage in his speech struck my ear. Discussing the greatest tragedy of the shooting, the murder of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, he said:
Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001, one of 50 babies born that day to be pictured in a book called “Faces of Hope.” On either side of her photo in that book were simple wishes for a child’s life: “I hope you help those in need,” read one. “I hope you know all of the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope — I hope you jump in rain puddles”…
Here on this Earth, we place our hands over our hearts and we commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.
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That speech was delivered by this guy, right?
Whatever the changes, I’m glad his rhetoric has shifted from the days he publicly stopped wearing a flag lapel pin as part of his presidential campaign. Perhaps Christina’s memory has inspired a greater fidelity to our nation’s founding, symbols, and institutions. Maybe this is his way of attempting to be “worthy of those we have lost.” I hope so.