Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obama's speech

Here is what Arizona felt about it:

I read some criticisms of the cheering at Obama's speech, and it startled me at first, too. But then I read this in a comment thread:
I think the cheering was cathartic—this is a close-knit place and the UMC has been at the center of everything since the event. My colleagues there have commented that the students (like the rest of the city) have been truly shell-shocked by this.
So, OK.
As Obama continued, I found the cheering less annoying and the speech itself came into focus. This was the line that I remember most clearly:
in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.
It was the little girl's death that affected me the most. This was when I started to cry
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 you jump in rain puddles.”
If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.

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