Friday, January 14, 2011

and when the cheering stopped

I watched President Barack Obama's eulogy for the victims, survivors, and heroes of the Tucson tragedy.

President Obama was passionate, moving, respectful, somber, eloquent, elegiac, fatherly, priestly, rhetorical, and transcendent. His words were a healing and a balm. His words were pastoral, in the sense of being like a pastor, or a shepherd.

I thank him.

I didn't quite get the crowd. I was shocked at the cheers. It sounded like a pep rally. Very odd, and disturbing, to me. Off-kilter, misplaced.

But Mr. Obama rose above all that and sternly but poetically exhorted us to be led by our better angels. He invoked scripture and patriotism to summon our better selves.

May it be so.

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