Presidents speech resonates with nation

Published 8:46 pm Thursday, January 13, 2011

President Obama’s speech in Tuscon, Ariz., on Wednesday night resonated across the nation.

As well it should.

In one of his most powerful and poignant speeches, the president spoke to the horrific shooting incident that took the lives of six people on Saturday morning and left more than a dozen others injured, including U.S. Rep. Gabielle Giffords.

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He told the story of the victims: from simple, quiet lives filled with quilitng and church work to well-respected state judge to the vibrant, hopeful 9-year-old whose life was full of hope. And he challenged all of us, as Americans, to “honor the fallen” and “be true to their memory.”

“We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us,” he said.

Too often in our nation we celebrate our differencs. They polarize us politically and drive the public discourse that is often as destructive as it is constructive. They drive us to see each other as opponents, as threats, rather than as fellow Americans who share a common ideal based on freedom and deomcracy.

His words were spot-on and true, and they apply to all sides of the political and cultural spectrum. In his challenge to Americans to live up to the expectations of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, whose dreams and idealism embody the spirit of our nation, President Obama said simply this: “I woant our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us –we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expections.”

If we will, as individuals and Americans, take responsibility for building a better Democracy, a better nation, by focusing on our common ground, then perhaps we can still live up to the ideals of Christina … and all our children.

Well said, Mr. President.