You were so right, Mr. President!

By WJ Anthony

As we move into our future day by day, we are faced with problems and the prospect of trouble and dangers that our public leaders seem to be unable to solve.  The grim expectations of recession and war were suddenly surpassed by the startling assassination attempt of the Arizona Congress Woman and the deaths of innocent victims in Tucson.

Some of the media coverage of the murder aftermath in Tucson began to irresponsibly blame the right wing and the left wing of state and federal party politics and cause the mushrooming magnitude of emotion to become fierce with possible retaliation or political consequences at next year’s elections.

Revenge might have been anticipated during the memorial that was scheduled at the university in Tucson.  Among various speakers, President Barack Obama was scheduled to express his words of grief in behalf of all Americans.  The situation was unusual; it was attended by thousands of people from all walks of life, assembled in a university basketball stadium, while the critically injured Congresswoman was struggling for life.  The tragedy had further divided the country.  America waited for Obama’s remarks, but expected nothing significant from him to touch the circumstance.

The poise of President Obama was different.  Gone was the wide smile.  His eyes and expression were different, stalwart and focused with attention to the tragedy.  Television viewers saw a serious concerned poise, seeking to perceive the depth of concern.  The twenty thousand people who gathered in the stadium, as the voice of the people, started to respond to the president as he approached the podium.  The applause and cheers began to grow as at a sport event, but Obama immediately realized the dilemma, and began to shape the audience by the tone of his words and draw from them a respectful attention to honor the victims of the tragedy and applaud the courage of the survivors and their families.  He singularly noted the heroism of those who died and those who protected the survivors.

He identified the need to understand and correct the process that enabled or caused the assassin to choose murder as his expression of disagreement.  It was a lesson for all of us.  We need to teach every child the importance of respecting that right in every person.  Obama also said we need to help our children to achieve their expectations.

Whether he knew it or not, he displayed his instinct of trusting the people after the speech was over.  As he departed the arena, he greeted, shook hands with or hugged almost everyone nearby, as he passed numerous people who were waiting on the floor.  As he moved, he showed that he was not in a hurry to leave the people behind.  He will be long remembered by everyone that saw and heard him speak.  It was as if the young and old alike were thinking and saying in their breast, ‘I knew he could, I knew he would!’ … and he made us proud that he is our President.

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