In his speech tonight in Tucson at the memorial service for victims of the weekend shootings that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords gravely wounded, President Barack Obama called for a New Era of Civility in U.S. Politics.
It was one of the more powerful addresses that Mr. Obama has delivered as president, harnessing the emotion generated by the shock and loss from Saturday’s shootings to urge Americans “to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully” and to “remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.”
“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do,” he said, “it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”
Prior to Obama’s speech was a very moving speech by Daniel Hernandez, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ intern who is credited with helping to save her life. Hernandez told the audience I “Humbly reject the title of hero.” Hernandez spoke unscripted, without notes, straight from the heart, he was a natural.
My favorite line from Obama’s speech: “What matters is how much we have loved, and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.” It speaks to the better nature in all of us to spend time everyday, in someway, making a difference. That’s what Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was doing on the day of the shootings. We hope she’ll be back at work soon, continuing to help make our nation a better place.