I Want Us to Live Up to Her Expectations

A little girl was buried Thursday in Tucson, Ariz.

Christina Taylor Green was 9. She was an A student, a member of her student council, born on Sept. 11, 2001, and, as a result, interested in American politics.

“She saw public service as something exciting and hopeful,” President Barack Obama said at a memorial service Wednesday night.

The tragedy at that shopping center in Arizona on Saturday revealed some of what is worst in America. But also what is best. Courage. Selflessness. The need to comfort. The need to heal.

Daniel Hernandez, a young aide to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, ran to her when he heard the gunshots. He gave basic first aid, covering her wounds with his bare hands, sitting her upright so that she wouldn’t choke on her own blood. He likely saved her life.

Dorwan and Mary Stoddard were in the crowd, waiting to hear what their elected representative had to say. Dorwan dove on top of his wife when the shooter opened fire. He lost his life, but he saved hers.

In each of these stories, and in dozens more that day, is an element of instinctive heroism and goodness.

Obama honored their sacrifice and then said that reflecting on how we talk to one another would be a fitting way to remember the dead:

“If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate — as it should — let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost. … Let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy — it did not — but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation in a way that would make them proud.”

And he called on Americans to look to the idealism of this child and, perhaps, recapture their own.

Echoing the biblical reference about faith, the president said:

“She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted. I want to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it.”

The losses in Arizona are unalterable. What comes next is not.

Republished from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, distributed by creators.com

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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