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April 25, 2014

Open Thread: AZ Memorial and President Obama’s Speech (Updated with pictures)

The picture above is of President and Mrs. Obama leaving for Tucson this morning. I’m about to run in and watch the memorial so I figure I’d give everyone a place to discuss it.

*****UPDATED*****

Jay sent us pictures of the line to get into the memorial, with this explanation:

These pictures are from close to the entrance to the facility. They filled both the gym and the football stadium from what I understand. I went down there at 11am and the line was a mile long. The people who came in later knew that they would be out in the cold. This is a big deal to desert people.

Thank you so much, Jay, for your supply of wonderful pictures!

Comments

comments

Comments
336 Responses to “Open Thread: AZ Memorial and President Obama’s Speech (Updated with pictures)”
  1. Penny says:

    I haven’t been to Mudflats for two years since your then governor was picked by McCain to be VP. It’s nice to come back and find all the gentle people are still here and still supporting our brilliant president. Let’s hope Palin just goes away or stays in Alaska although I hate to wish that on you people. She is a poor role model for women everywhere and I don’t like one thing that she stands for. I live in Kansas by the way.

  2. Tanaga12 says:

    I watched the 8 minute “I’m the victim” speech because someone said she looked presidential. Then I watched Obama and felt so much better.

    This might not be appropriate here but I miss the good old days of simply mocking Sarah. I’ve been very angry at her and I need to lighten up.

    http://videogum.com/262782/best-new-party-game-43-sarah-palin-movies/franchises/best-new-party-game/

  3. TX SMR says:

    I’m sure that there are some mudbuddies here who have a few tears left in them for this one (I had hoped I was done, but hey, thanks LynnRockets, I had a few more to get rid of):

    http://lynnrockets.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/tuesday-night-music-byte-25/

    When I was watching this I thought if only we could fight the hate with love. It’s worth a try, right?

  4. Irishgirl says:

    She has a very thin upper lip and I think she is p*ssed at the thought of losing millions. :)

    • TX SMR says:

      I saw that earlier. It is the only SP vid that I have watched/listened to in months & months & months & months. I make it a point to read transcripts or some such rather than listen to her screechy voice and look at her hideous face. This one was do-able, but still masochistic… Big shudder.

    • weaver57 says:

      Irishgirl – you are a wonderful person with a very subtle sense of humor.

    • Creepy indeed. Most people show their emotions in their eyes, but hers stay pretty much the same. All of her emotion is in her lips. I can’t criticize her lips – I have thin lips as well. I’ll have to watch to see if I smack my lips that much – I hope not.

      • ‘She-the nameless’ reminds me of ‘Church lady’ on Sat. Night Live..always pursing her lips and pretending to be better than everyone…’nameless’ voice is sounding more and more like Ethel Merman–(Its a mad mad mad mad world) the more excited she gets…the voice gets more and more growling…and then it gets higher and higher….this ‘lady’ is so close to having a hissy fit, for real…

    • Blue Idaho says:

      Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I s that a teleprompter shining in her glasses? tsk. tsk.

  5. leenie17 says:

    Having read many accounts of both speeches, I have come to the conclusion that, as usual, Palin’s selfish plans blew up in her face. She clearly intended to take the wind out of the President’s sails and beat him to the punch, grabbing all the media attention while he was on his way to AZ.

    However, Palin’s speech hit all the wrong notes, sounded petty and self-serving, and demonstrated her worst narcissistic qualities. Our President, on the other hand, did what he does best mere hours later and made us all feel like a single entity, mourning the dead and celebrating the living. I read somewhere that he not only rose to the occasion, but soared above it. Even some of his harshest critics are admitting that he did a wonderful job in an extremely difficult situation. The contrast between the two has never been more glaring.

    I am SO proud of my President! And the First Lady, too!

  6. SouthPaw says:

    “Virtually every time Ms. Palin speaks out, she reinforces some of the worst impressions or deepest concerns many of us have about her.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/sarah-palin-fumbles-and-f_b_808336.html

  7. Forty Watt says:

    Wonderful Mag. Thank you.

  8. Suchanut says:

    Thanks Mag. Your words made me feel like I was there with you.

  9. Irishgirl says:

    Thank you Mag.

  10. mag the mick says:

    I left Bisbee at 9:30 AM and made it to Tucson about 2 hours later where I met up with Susan, a coworker, and her partner Veira. We hopped a city bus and got to the U of A campus around noon where we joined a rapidly growing throng outside the McKale Basketball Arena. Campus police, Secret Service, the Tucson Police Department, and the US Marhslls were very much in evidence. Despite having a huge crowd on hand, they were all decent and courteous. We were pretty much sequestered in an open area outside the arena, where we could leave if we wished, but could not come back. By 1:00 that afternon, the announcement was made that the crowd was already at stadium capacity, and that anyone arriving on campus past that point would not be able to get in. We were closely packed in amongst thousands of others, with no room to sit down. I had expected porta-johns and food vendors, but there were none to be had. Despite this and the afternon sun, it was a remarkably good-natured crowd. The people immeidately around us all shared whatever food we’d all brought in, and I saw nothing but patience, kindness and forebearance amongst the many people there. Veira was born and raised in Beirut, and if I’m ever banished to a desert island, she’s the person I’d want as my companion. She was fearless in approaching and talking to anyone in uniform and ferriting out information. Without really seeming to, she had us and a small group of people around us positioned so that when the gates finally opened at 4:00, we were all amongst the first twenty or so to get in. Although things had seemed somewhat unorganized and unstructured before, the entry and security proceedures were very well-organized and thorough. The proceedure was almost identical to going through security at an airport, minus the x-ray scans. Once in, Veira unerringly found us seats in the stands that we agreed were the best in the house. We were seated in the first row of the first section above the reserved seats for Arizona political figures, and we had an unrestricted view of the podium and were right above the entry where the dignitaries came through. Members of the Arizona House and Senate and various political luminaries were right in front of us and I got to greet and shake hands with one of my heroes, former Arizona AG Terry Goddard. Before the event started I made my way to the top of the arena to wait in line for the bathroom, which I hand’t used since 11;00 that morning. But when I heard a huge roar of applause, I went back to my seat, to find that the crowd had been cheering the arrival of the two surgeons who treated the shooting victims. That was such a great reflection of the whole evening – we needed heroes and we had them right at hand. The thousands of people there were very, very grateful to these two doctors, and not afraid to let it show. It was that way every time various luminaries showed up. County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik got a standing ovation as he entered. Homeland Security head (and former AZ Gov.) Janet Napolitano was greeted by cheers, cries of “Welcome home” and one solitary shout of “Please stay here with us!” We were moved and overjoyed to see former Supreme Court Justice (and old AZ gal) Sandra Day O’Conner, Eric Holder, FBI head Robert Meuller, and Nancy Pelosi, who made a very sudued entrance. Jon Kyl, John McCain, and Jan Brewer were also greeted, and if the applause was somewhat more subdued and less exuberant, at least they got it. As we waited, the huge crowd was uniformly pleasant, respectful, and happy. There was a bit of a rock concert air as we cheered the arriving guests, but at the same time, it felt totally fitting. When the Obamas entered the stadium, along with Gifford’s husband Mark Kelly and the young intern, Dan Hernandez, whose initial actions right after the shooting probably saved Gifford’s life, the applause and cheering was deafening. Both Napolitano and Holder started out by reading scripture. Napolitano read the gorgeous words from Isaiah about justice: how every valley shall be exhalted and the crooked made straight. Holder read from Corinthians, about how mercy and help shall come and the world will be changed. It was a dignified and reverent start to the proceedings. Dan Hernandez made a brief speech in which he emphatically denied being a hero, and the big hug he received afterward fromm Michelle Obama was incredibly touching. Throughout the event, Mark Kelly sat between Janet Napolitano and Michelle. Janet kept her arm around him, and Michelle held his hand. That old NASA astronaut seemed to have no trouble being amongst strong women! Most of you heard or watched President Obama’s speech, so I won’t try to repeat it here. He is an incredible orator. It was like he struck a personal note with everyone there – very direct and to-the-point – while at the same time, being moving and inspiring on a very large scale. We were all on our feet for most of it, cheering so hard that it probably prolonged his time at the lectern by many minutes. He spoke movingly, eloquently about each person who was killed. He or his aides did a wonderful job in researching, because it was though he knew each of the victims. He spoke especially at length about the 9-year-old girl, how she wanted to be the first woman to play major-league baseball, and for an instant, every person there could directly feel her loss. I took away two of his points; one was that we couldn’t banish evil from the world, but that we could live our personal lives with kindness, valor and love. The second point was that from here on out, whenever we engage in political rhetoric or discussion, we must do so in a way that honors the lives of the people we lost. Something profound was going on in that place: it felt like healing and understanding were just flowing amongst everyone there. I think we not only witnessed a major speech from an oratorical master, but that in some way, we were all acknowledged and healed in our hearts just in being there.

    The two-hour drive in, the four-hour wait on my feet in hot sun and a big crowd, the going without food, water or a bathroom – all were worth it the moment the President opened his mouth. I am awed, overwhelmed, and deeply moved, and am going to reflect on this for a long time.

    • NOLA says:

      Mag, what a wonderful boots on the ground. This is worthy of it’s own post! I’m glad you were able to get into the service, as I understand lots of people were not.
      Thank you for writing about it.

    • leenie17 says:

      As I watched part of it on television last night, I was a little uncomfortable about all the applause and shouting. It seemed to be wrong in the context of a memorial.

      However, after reading your account, I understand the reason behind it and it seems much more appropriate and motivated by honest emotion and gratitude.

      Thanks for sharing what will no doubt be a memory that will stay with you forever.

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      {{{{{ Mag }}}}}

    • Laurie says:

      Thank you for sharing this here. I know what you will carry the special connection you felt with you forever.

    • dreamgirl says:

      Oh, Mag, you’ve just brought the whole day back in 3-d technicolor vividness. I will give your boots on the ground coverage a standing ovation of it’s own. Thank you for letting me feel a bit of the emotion that must have been overwhelmingly palpable.

      Thank you.

    • ibwilliamsi says:

      Thank you, Mag.

  11. Last night the President rose to the occasion in every way. He delivered a healing, uplifting speech, that called on us all to try our best. I am so grateful to have him as my President.

    As I read over the quote

    “As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.”

    I was reminded of the issue of mental illness. Lost in the finger pointing and hysteria is the tragic fact that a young man was deeply troubled, everyone knew it, and no one was able to help.

    Today, for the first time I created an original blog post, usually I feature an article written by someone else. With a bit of nervousness, I invite you to visit the blog, read my article on Health Care Reform and Mental Illness, and offer a comment.

    http://www.whatisworking.com/2011/01/health-care-reform-and-mental-illness.html

  12. Irishgirl says:

    Interesting…

    Julian Assange Threatens Fox News with a Stash of Secret Files

    Julian Assange of WikiLeaks tells John Pilger that he has withheld a cache of confidential US government cables and files regarding Fox News. Mr Assange has said the files will be released if anything happens to him or to WikiLeaks, so he obviously feels threat of releasing these cables will guarantee his safety. Mr Assange claims his life is in danger if he is extradited to Sweden.

  13. Irishgirl says:

    Thank you Linda and Shannyn for taking care of the Mudflats while AKM is away.

  14. CanadianGuy25 says:

    Mouthbreather.

  15. scout says:

    “For Our World”
    by Mattie Stepanek

    We need to stop.
    Just stop.
    Stop for a moment.
    Before anybody
    Says or does anything
    That may hurt anyone else.
    We need to be silent.
    Just silent.
    Silent for a moment.
    Before we forever lose
    The blessing of songs
    That grow in our hearts.
    We need to notice.
    Just notice.
    Notice for a moment.
    Before the future slips away
    Into ashes and dust of humility.
    Stop, be silent, and notice.
    In so many ways, we are the same.
    Our differences are unique treasures.
    We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
    To nurture, to offer, to accept.
    We need to be.
    Just be.
    Be for a moment.
    Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
    Like children and lambs,
    Never judging or vengeful
    Like the judging and vengeful.
    And now, let us pray,
    Differently, yet together,
    Before there is no earth, no life,
    No chance for peace.

    September 11, 2001
    © Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek

    I hope peacemaker Mattie Stepanek does not mind that I use his words to honor Christina this day.

  16. Irishgirl says:

    OMG, miracles do happen. This is wonderful news!!!

    “Gravely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ recovery took another miraculous step Thursday when doctors say she was able to sit up in bed and move her legs on command.

    The “major milestone,” came a day after Giffords managed to open her eyes Wednesday for the first time since being shot in the head in an assassination attempt Saturday.

    “We’re wise to acknowledge miracles,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole.

    Giffords is also able to move her limbs, respond to friends and family, and dangle her legs off the bed, doctors said.

    The next milestone will be removing her breathing tube, and perhaps have her sit in a chair on Friday, said Dr. Peter Rhee, trauma chief at University Medical Center in Arizona.”

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/01/13/2011-01-13_tucson_shooting_rep_gabrielle_giffords_makes_huge_breakthroughs_in_recovery_from.html#ixzz1AxBsiGk5

    • Elizabeth says:

      I heard that also. What made me cheer was the doctor’s comment that she moved BOTH sides of her body and both legs. When they said the bullet took a high trajectory, I was afraid for the motor area. If she can move the right side, that is wonderful news. Now to find out what damage was done to the cognitive frontal lobe and the language area, and pathways etc. She has a long ways to go.

    • leenie17 says:

      That news sent chills up my spine.

      Here in Rochester, we have a young police officer, Anthony DiPonzio, who, at the age of 23 was shot in the head by a 14 year old in January of 2009. Anthony was not expected to make it alive off the street where he was shot, but he surprised everyone. The local media followed the shooting and his recovery closely, and everyone has been amazed at both the speed and level of his recovery.

      After watching all of the news coverage of Anthony over the past two years, I was particularly touched by the injury to Gabrielle Giffords. And, because I have seen how Anthony has defied all the odds, I have tremendous hope for Giffords, particularly after hearing this latest wonderful news. She clearly has tremendous support from her family and from a strong community in the city of Tucson, the state of Arizona and throughout the country. Anthony has often said that the support of his family and community were critical to his recovery.

      Gabrielle Giffords has a long and difficult path to travel, but it seems as though brighter days are truly ahead.

  17. GoI3ig says:

    Someone needs to get Sarah P a muzzle.

    My greatest hope is that the tea baggers somehow push her through the GOP primary so Obama can win in the greatest landslide in history.

    • A fan from CA says:

      I think SWWNBN is just a distraction for now. When another of the R ilk emerges as the front-runner then they can be hailed as a “breath of fresh air”.

      We need to expand to watch the whole field of righties who are spreading the FEAR propaganda.

    • prisonernumbersix says:

      A word of caution – The 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections were, in my opinion, stolen. I don’t wish the odor of bear skat and pepper spray anywhere near the next election!

      • A fan from CA says:

        So true and Dems had a big organization on the ground to make sure it didn’t happen in 08. We will need to do it again. They’ll be fighting even dirtier this time around. They also have their people full of Fear of Socialism and Tyranny now.

    • What came to my mind was: The scold speaks…..

  18. OMG says:

    Vanity Fair weighs in:

    “Following Sarah Palin’s failed attempt to achieve ersatz gravitas by releasing an intentionally incendiary and/or unintentionally moronic (really, who can tell?) ersatz “presidential” video statement, our real president, Barack Obama took to the stage at the University of Arizona last night to eulogize the victims of the tragic shootings in Tuscon and ask his fellow politicians to calm the hell down.

    “The president’s speech was appropriately moving and emotional, citing telling and specific personal details about each of the six Americans who lost their lives to Jared Loughner’s rampage. But he also strangely echoed Palin’s exhortation against using this tragedy as an excuse or catalyst for finger-pointing (albeit, without the crazy, overtly anti-Semitic misheggas so deftly implemented by the failed reality-TV star and successful narcissist).”

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2011/01/the-real-president-wants-to-depoliticize-violence-just-like-palin.html

  19. Lacy Lady says:

    I remember when our library had a Nostradamus book, which was in French /English.
    I would try to see if I could figure out events that happened. Remember when Nostradamus spoke of a leader in the Americus who was a cripple. I thought of FDR.
    This book was checked out by a college student and never returned. So I was told.
    I still wonder about this book, and have never seen another like it since.

  20. PollyinAK says:

    Oh my goodness… This is very interesting. Nostradamus on Palin.

    http://nomadicjoe.blogspot.com/2011/01/nine-newly-found-nostradamus-prophecies.html

  21. bubbles says:

    interesting article Irishgirl.

    • Irishgirl says:

      Hiya Bubbles! Hugs to you. Your President gave a wonderful speech last night. I listened today and I found it very inspiring.

      • bubbles says:

        why thank you Irishgirl. i am delighted you liked it. this speech really took all my abilities to help the president to write it so i will now take my bow for a job well done. truly and seriously i understand he wrote most of it himself. the man can write! that’s for sure. i love and admire him and his lady.

  22. OMG says:

    The Philadelphia Jewish Voice has some well communicated points about the power of rhetoric:

    “Instead, I fear that there have always and will always be deranged people out there with dangerous ideas like Jared Lee Loughner had. The difference is that the rhetoric used by the right can validate the ideas already bouncing around in the head of a border-line personality like Loughner.

    “I do not think that Palin and her allies wanted Giffords dead. They did however want their own day in the sun, and the use of over-the-top rhetoric and images certainly accomplishes that in a way that calm and logic never can.

    “Moreover, these repeated tacit threats of violence create a chilling affect on our democracy, discouraging Democrats from speaking out, and limiting any real communication between politicians and their constituents. ”

    http://blog.pjvoice.com/diary/255/a-day-of-memorials-to-blame-or-not-to-blame

    • A fan from CA says:

      Yep, the NRA has silenced any rational discussion of gun control. Every politician is silenced by fear except those who want no control or threaten that all guns will be taken away.

      • I read somewhere this morning that you can buy a commemorative rifle or handgun with Congressperson Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” engraved on it. Sounds like a real classy buy to me.

      • Baker's Dozen says:

        The way to change the NRA is to join. You don’t have to have a gun. Just imagine if everyone for gun control belonged to the NRA! Now, there would be a change in policy!
        Of course, the ones who want to hunt with WMD would probably leave to start their own, new association, but still.

        And I’m not a member of the NRA

      • The NRA has become a bully.

  23. Irishgirl says:

    This is an interesting analysis of Palin’s speech by a body language expert.

    “Unlike body language experts who have a political bias, I do not. Instead, I always try to maintain my objectivity . Thus, I have no agenda when it comes to Sara Palin. I am merely reporting what I observed on her latest video message that she posted on Facebook. W hat I observed was very disturbing as there were too many moments where I believe she continued to exercise poor judgment.”

    http://drlillianglassbodylanguageblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/sara-palin%E2%80%99s-disconnected-body-language-during-video-message-lack-of-appology-for-crosshairs-inappropriate-use-of-term-%E2%80%9C-blood-libel%E2%80%9D-inflames-public/#comments

  24. I See Villages From My House says:

    I have never retreated in my support for President Obama, but I’ve worked on the Hill so I knew the political realities of compromise and what would be construed as selling out on your promises.

    However, I haven’t been as devoted as a Palinbot in defending him.

    Watching this address, while trying to take in the healing balm of his measured words, I could only cynically imagine what the Right would attack. Looking at Tammy Bruce’s Tweets only confirms it.

    I’m gearing up for the 2012 elections, I care about who runs for POTUS. Be vigilant mudpups. I’m so glad we are a community that believes in Hope and Change rather than respond to the dog whistle of RELOAD!

  25. beth says:

    Haven’t had time to read through all of the comments here, but wanted [no, needed!...you know how it is, mudpeeps] to share my heart on the topic today…

    I, too, watched POTUS last night and I, too, was moved — among a great many other things, I thought he was eloquent and caring. And healing. I was (and am!) bursting with pride that we elected him to lead our nation. He inspired me, again, to be better than I was.

    So… it is with those feelings swirling around in me that I [foolishly] visited a site known to be not-too-fond of either POTUS or anything even remotely having to do with him, to see what their reaction to his speech might have been. Whoa — I was NOT prepared for what met me there!

    Seems as if the righteous righties are taking it as a “campaign” speech, a run up to 2012, replete with a new ‘slogan’ and all. For the commenters, the “Together We Thrive: Tucson & America” T-shirts on the backs of each chair were/are the proof-positive that the WH had gone all-out to quickly (and expensively) make political hay out of the tragedy. There was even a musing about a weapon being discharged at the event…Timothy Roesch writing at 4:26pm is particularily chilling http://patdollard.com/2011/01/unmasked-obama-coming-to-tucson-to-campaign-not-support-mourners-sham-exposed-see-the-tragedy-campaign-slogan-and-wait-for-it-logo/

    Yes, I am heartsick. beth.

    • A fan from CA says:

      Led by Faux there is an alternative reality that has been created for these people. The propaganda campaigns fostered by some very deep pockets have taken hold.

      What I think is important is that we not just talk amongst ourselves but also with the less political who may be influenced by these forces.

      I do think that it ended up being “noisy” for a memorial but I think 14,0000 people in a basketball stadium all reacting with love is something to celebrate.

      To me this was a celebration of life and not a mourning of loss.

      • beth says:

        To be sure, AffCa, you’ve got it. It was a celebration of possibility, too. I, for one, appreciated it greatly. beth.

        –didn’t prevent my snark from showing up on another site, though… To whit:
        “““““““`
        After Action Report RE: Tucson Memorial

        Note to POTUS:

        Next time you speak at a Memorial, please admonish the attendees *before you begin speaking* that they should NOT react to your words with applause or with any other show of appreciation for the message you are sharing. The audience’s reaction in Tucson upset the pundits at FOX and undoubtedly upset their viewers, too — let’s not have that, again, alright?

        Too, the next time you speak at a Memorial, it might be a good idea if your words weren’t *quite* so eloquent, cathartic, hopeful, and healing…that might be a good first step in keeping the noise from the audience to an absolute minimum and therefore be more in keeping with what the FOX pundits (and their viewers) have deemed is meet and proper for our nation to be exposed to –and experience– at such times.

    • TX SMR says:

      I wonder if the writer bothered to retract any of that nonsense… It was the UofA that came up with the slogan and t-shirts.

      There is no way to change the minds of some of the crazies. It is impossible. Look at it like a car accident or something — quick glance and move along. Otherwise it is discouraging & gets to you down. Which you could redirect into a signal to do something or think something positive.

      Today I decided that I would look around for something all hippie peace & love-ish for our kindergartener to give to her classmates for Valentine’s Day. No barbie or x-men valentine’s — we’re going full-out peace & love on these Texans!

    • jojobo1 says:

      Beth I also had followed a link to an unfriendly site to see if anything at all had changed and like you said it was exactly as you describe hateful rhetoric.After reading here and listening tho the memorial speeches It makes one sick that they would go that faras to suggest what some have.Alll we can hope for is the moderates will stop it.We all know the c4pers or bots do the dirty work.

    • Laurie says:

      I wondered about the seemingly inappropriate cheers at the memorial last night. I thought it was probably a very young progressive audience from the university. With Arizona being a very red state as well as McCain’s state, I wondered if Obama or anti real progressives ever campaign there.

      I decided that the people there were probably just so happy to have a good and positive message brought to them after being in the center of what was being called the Tucson Massacre.

    • I read that….and the comments…such as they are..and it makes me wonder how people can truly believe such drivel…or are they just thugs and trashy criminal types, emboldened by each others’ trashtalk…? I am. shocked by their content….I thought limbaugh was the worst, I was wrong.

  26. ‘All my Relations’ is a beautiful American Indian closing…..meaning, we are all connected to the land, the birds that fly, the trees that grow, the people on the earth have a relationship with all of these things….and we should think of that relationship before we act…it is a wonderful phrase that every child should be taught…..we might consider our words and actions more carefully.

    • Zyxomma says:

      In Lakota, it’s Mitakuye Oyasin (pronounced mee-TAH-koo-yay oh-yah-seen), and means the exact same thing — we are all related, whether we’re rooted in the earth, burrowing beneath it, crawling on it, walking on it, swimming in its waters, or flying above it. Everything is imbued with life–there’s no such thing as an inanimate object.

  27. manyamile says:

    My congresswoman is Gabrielle Giffords. Such sadness and yet , from that, the stories of everyday people who acted selflessly to save lives and relieve suffering
    brings as many tears as the deaths do.
    I went to the memorial event last night in Tucson. with thousands and thousands of people. Only 14,000 got into the hall, thousands more were let into the football stadium. Spent all afternoon in lines but people were cordial and caring. One 90 year old woman , all bent over, was making her way across campus . I walked with her for awhile. she had on a ‘miracles happen’ button, and was so determined to make it to the event, as well as so joyful to see the young people turning out.
    All ages, all races, all backgrounds. not one person I heard grumble.
    The event opened on a very somber note, with the orchestra playing Aaron Copeland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’, I believe that was the name of the piece. Then a moving blessing by a man who is a professor but also part Mexican and part Yaquii, fifth generation Tucson valley. he gave a blessing to the four directions and a heartfelt wish for healing.
    People cheered when we saw photos or the appearance of local heroes such as the doctors, law enforcement, people who were on the scene, and victims and families of victims. We cheered to thank the heads of state who came to Arizona to both grieve and help heal this community and state and nation. The event was very, very local in some ways, but I think people also wanted to show , very deeply and sincerely, that this community could move forward as an example of goodness,after such a calamity. Our applause was in gratitude and it was cathartic. We also applauded Governor Brewer as she has tried to be a governor for all Arizonans this week. It was also obvious that people here in AZ still have great affection for our ex governor , Janet Napolitano.
    President Obama gave a wonderful speech. I think he really truly wants to help people cross the bridge to a better understanding and a civil nation. Michelle Obama was visibly distraught and weeping most of the night. I think President Obama , as a father as well as a leader., needed to help us make sense ,in particular , of the death of a promising bright young girl and of the loss and near loss of dedicated public servants.
    the people at the event wanted to make their community whole again.
    It was a moving experience.
    My car was parked several blocks away, and as I started to hike back to it i came to an intersection that had been blocked off. Many pedestrians were held there.
    Yes, you guessed it, the presidential motorcade came by. If you have never seen a presidential motorcade you can’t help but be impressed. first two volleys of motorcycles, all in perfect unison, going at a rather high rate of speed, lights ablaze. They just seemed to come out of nowhere, followed by two presidential limos, and actually all the dignitaries, and there were many.

    We all waved as they went by. I have to say, you get a sense of the gravity and power of the visit. it is pretty visceral
    My night ended by me, very tired and legs wobbly from all the walking and standing I had done, by me searching for my car…it took a while. i had confused the cross street Wilson , with the cross street Olson…grrrmmpph! but it worked out and I got home safe but pooped and feeling some peace after a vary very sad 5 days. there is hope and it starts with the people you know and live with.

    • PollyinAK says:

      manamile- a big hug to you. thank you so much for sharing your uplifting personal report; not something we can see/understand/feel from the news. i watched President Obama’s speech live, and then again before I went to bed. He was so right about healing the wounds and our 300 billion American family. I think we all needed it, for perspective … I was so moved that he spoke of Love, being more important than status, wealth, and power.. and that we are all heroes=we don’t need special training… I thought Governor Brewer did a good job. I hope we all do a better “job” … thanks again for sharing.

    • I See Villages From My House says:

      Quyana caknaq, thank you so much for sharing manyamile. This community, as well as your own, embraces you and hope you can find peace from this tragedy.

    • bubbles says:

      big hugs and kisses being sent to you Manyamile. thank you.

    • vyccan says:

      {{Manyamile}} Thank you for this ‘live’ report. Your description makes me feel a little like I was there. Though it took this really tragic event to make the nation pause to examine our interactions, today I too feel there is indeed hope.

    • scout says:

      ((((((manyamile))))))

      • Forty Watt says:

        manyamile, you can have no idea how wonderful it feels to hear your story. I agree with vyccan, it makes me feel as though I was there with you – even struggling back to the car and having wobbly legs at the end of an uplifting night.

    • Village Reader says:

      Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you, for that wonderful account..

    • Manyamile-Thank you ..

  28. DF says:

    We went to UMC yesterday around noon so as not to be a part of the emerging media and Tucsonans during Obama’s visit. UMC has very little parking surrounding the area so it was interesting to see how all the satellite trucks were hugging the curbs around the memorial. So little room and yet they were able to get Obama into that hospital. I applaud all those who participated in making/allowing that memorial and visit to happen. Believe me, it can’t be easy.

    It’s also not easy to make a large function happen at the UA. As you know, Obama and the memorial drew a huge crowd. I would love to have been a part of it but just couldn’t imagine the challenge of parking and waiting. I’m so glad that many people were up to that challenge.

    This horrific incident has brought so many people together in thoughts, caring, planning, and concern for the future. It makes me proud to be a resident of Tucson.

  29. Cammie says:

    Whatever disappointments I may have with some of Obama’s decisions, I am ALWAYS struck by his remarkable maturity. It is such a stark contrast with the undignified discourse coming from other politicians and the media. He truly is the adult in the room.

  30. dreamgirl says:

    The whole Tucson Memorial, especially President Obama’s speech was cathartic and hit just the right notes. From putting more than just faces to the victims but touching snippets of who they were as people who will be dearly missed — To who we want to be as Americans and how we can make those who died in this tragedy proud of us. To make children proud of us. To make ourselves proud of our actions and words. To unite.

    I was happy to see the heros recognized.

    I was moved and so thankful for such an eloquent, heartfelt memorial.

    I am moved by Mudpups and other’s responses and heartfelt blessings and prayers.

    Deepest sympathies to all the victims and deepest gratitude for the healing spirits expressed and felt. Peace Be With You.

  31. TX SMR says:

    Here is a link to the Native prayer & its introduction by Professor Gonzalez:

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/memorial-services-native-american-prayer-confuses-some/

    I know nothing about that site, so read it with caution — I did not read anything there except those (mixed reaction) below the video.

    • Zyxomma says:

      Thanks for posting the video link. I warn my fellow mudpups to avoid the comments; most of them are disgusting.

      • megacephalus - berlin says:

        Perhaps the site/page ‘sponsors’ ads could give you a clue from whence this comes:
        ‘Learn how to buy gold’… hmmm…
        ‘minds me uf a Faux blowhard wid uh blackboad… or?

        • A fan from CA says:

          Also the YouTube rant of the shooter on currency and gold.

          The Gold stuff is very common amongst the extreme right.

    • I had no idea that area was so hate-filled….Britt Hume is a loathesome Fox commentator…Fox news is one of the engines of hatred in our nation…they depend on the sad people who watch them to believe their lies.. Murdoch should NEVER have been allowed to come here! He makes me think of that old saying: ‘Don’t let the devil ride– he’ll want to drive’… Ry Cooder
      I’m a caring heathen, but I respect other religions…I do not understand the disrespect for the gentleman who offered the Yaqui prayer- I thought it was beautiful and appropriate….I’m sending all of the good vibes I can muster- to Tuscon, to our brothers and sisters of darker hue…they need every prayer and kind UNITING thought we can collectively send. Thank you for being loving and wondrous creations..!

      • Zyxomma says:

        I agree completely, Rocky. My friend is a sound healer, who lives with her husband (a medicine man and tribal chief) on the Rosebud reservation in SD. I’ve attended their yearly Sundance, while the 2 of them, with others, sing the prayers for the dancers.

        According to my friend, it is best to pray in ancient languages (whether Lakota or Hebrew, no matter) because the sound fields are pure, unlike the sounds of modern languages (and my holistic medicine teacher said the spirits love the sound of the human voice). I got that hearing the Yoeme language the Yaqui spoke.

        I far prefer prayers of healing and unity to the “death prayers” of some people I won’t bother to name.

    • Laurie says:

      Yesterday I found a link with the entire program on C-span online. Could the prayer be found there without the ugly comments.

  32. OMG says:

    Another great take-down of Palin:

    “Evaluating politicians’ political skills can be tricky; you don’t want to lose sight of the intrinsic quality of their work, not just how well they spin it. But in Palin’s case, the characteristics that make her an ineffective politician are often the same ones that make her deficient on substance. Her anti-intellectual swagger. Her manipulative use of implication and overstatement. Her unyielding sense of victimhood. All habits that she cultivates to a fault.”

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2011/01/sarah_palin_proves_again_what.html#more

  33. GAmom says:

    Could not agree more with what everyone else has posted above. I watched last night on MSNBC but later switched to CNN because I thought the commentary was too focused on Palin (which served exactly her purpose). I agree with everyone else that for now she is best ignored. I thought President Obama did great and I am proud to have him as our President.

    • A fan from CA says:

      They have a lot who are from the same mold as She Who Will Not be Named.

      Pawlenty was on Stewart last night spreading the myth of Tryanny.

      We need to expand our focus beyond Her and work to counteract the mythology of the whole Right.

      I recently had an old friend ask me how I could belong to a socialist party like the Dems! She not very attentive politically and votes R just because she has always done so. These kind of folk need to understand that the R party has been overtaken by a different philosophy.

  34. thatcrowwoman says:

    One more while my battery recharges so the car will start and I can get to work (24 degrees in the forest this morning):

    Judy Collins and Pete Seeger from 1966, Turn Turn Turn

    L’Shalom,
    thatcrowwoman

  35. lilybart says:

    I am crying just reading about the speech this morning!

    I just love this man and Michelle.
    They are REAL.

  36. OMG says:

    Another excellent op-ed about Palin’s failed video:

    “Palin was justified in accusing her critics of unfairness in using the tragedy as a talking point and in pointing a finger at her. But she went much further than that: She asserted that their argument “serves only to incite … violence.”

    “Consider that assertion for a moment: Palin says her words could not possibly have created a climate of violence, but claims her opponents’ words are certain to.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mcmanus-column-palin-20110113,0,4794503.column

  37. TX SMR says:

    While speaking to my super sister-in-law, she mentioned that the tragedy and the speech had inspired her to get out and be proactively positive, and that she’d be checking into this:

    http://www.bensbells.org/

    It was started by the parents of a young Tucson boy to remember their son on the anniversary of his sudden & unexpected death. You can read more at the link. I’m going to find a way to make similar bells and hang them around our little corner of TX. Maybe it will give the rapture folk something to think about. I will start by giving one to our neighbors, who lost their father on the 29th of Dec.

    Spread love, friends!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I read the website. What a wonderful project!! I read some of the stories of the people who found them; I want to do something like that to bring a little love and encouragement to others.

  38. TX SMR says:

    I phoned my sister in law to see if she’d gone — they live about a mile from the uni where my bro-in-law teaches. She said the line was way too long, that people had been camping overnight! She also mentioned the native prayer (?) was wonderful (as mentioned a few comments above. Does anyone know anything about it, where I can find it on the internet?

    I am glad to know that I was not the only crybaby. I guess that I should have known that my mudbuddies would be softies too. And of course reading these comments the morning after has made me weepy again.

    Thanks for the lovely lovely prayer crowwoman. It transcends religion (or lack thereof), race, culture, and is something for all of us to consider as we go through each day.

    Blessings & love to mudbuddies!

    And our President is so incredibly incredible. Words fail, honestly. As with so many others, I am always so touched when I see how he loves his family. He and Michelle together are an inspiration in so many ways. After his speech they were so close, and it was bittersweet to see the love and to know that every moment of every day, now and likely for the rest of their lives, they will live under the shadow and threat of a similar tragedy, one that is specific to them & the girls. We need to keep them in our thoughts and prayers (if that is one’s leaning) always, and, as President Obama said, strive to elevate our thoughts and discourse in all other ways.

    Besos mudbuddies!

    • dreamgirl says:

      I googled Obama Tucson Memorial youtube and PBS videos of the whole night at the uni are there. The Native American’s blessing was touching. Besos!

    • jojobo1 says:

      Right you are TX SMR it is really touching how they support each other are are not afraid to show some affection and love in public. That said Conservatives accuse Obama of lying about Giffords opening eyes; her doctors… http://dlvr.it/DH8Cp

      • That was hideous…however, I did get to go to the Fox site(which was especially full of nasty pigs) I DID wallow- but only for a time…SHIVERS….! I just wonder about the homes of these sad mean people-everywhere…I think of their children…and their pets…Fox has spawned hateful sycophants….

  39. overthemoon says:

    Could it be that ‘she’ has finally destroyed herself??

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-green/her-candidacy-is-over_b_808371.html

  40. OMG says:

    Begala agrees with us and puts it in writing, starting with the fact that she is no Ronald Reagan:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/01/13/begala.palin.reagan/

  41. tigerwine says:

    “How’s that touchy feely thing workin’ out for ya?” Purty well, I’d say!

  42. megacephalus - berlin says:

    Did McCain forget to invite your sometime Alaska governor to the party? Or…

  43. Judi says:

    His speech was exactly what our country needed to hear right now…
    THE FORCES THAT DIVIDE US ARE NOT AS STRONG AS THOSE THAT UNITE US

    AMEN

    can someone forward this on to Sarah? she doesnt seem to get it does she?

  44. OMG says:

    A beautifully written contrast between the President and pitiful Palin:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47543.html

    • Thanks for that- I always thought Politico was more of a republican viewpoint..I’m rather shocked to read this..

    • megacephalus - berlin says:

      Thank you so much for the lead!

      Some thoughts, belatedly as Berlin is as ‘time-challenged vis-a-vis AZ as AK:

      - “Brer McCain, he lay low”

      - Perhaps Palin may now be called “she with the teleprompter stars in her eyes”?

      - her strategists took the worst position in any debate: first

      - Obama’s handlers are SO skilled: no teleprompter; no visible plexi-shield [although experience says it MUST have been there]

      - BHO visibly, and human, almost choked up at one point… that was not theater!

      - it must have been interesting for the Republican governor to stand up to honor 1.) an ‘out’ homosexual who is also 2.) [heaven forbid] subject to the ‘stop and demand papers’ law she endorsed and 3.) deal with the cut-backs in mental health care payments which might have prevented this 4.) [not to mention life-saving transplant denial...]

      go well all!

      • A fan from CA says:

        Rachel also talked the other night about how Brewer has a history of being a strong mental health advocate. She has a son who is locked up for a violent crime committed in the fog of mental illness.

        Great opportunity for a good writer to look in-depth at her evolutions.

        AZ has been hit hard by our economic climate. It was a boom time in the 90′ies when lots of jobs migrated from CA to AZ. Now a lot of that has gone offshore and devastated the economy.

  45. Kath the Scrappy says:

    I confess here, in watching the entire memorial, I cringed when Gov. Jan Brewer came up to the podium. Worrying a bit.

    Now, I was raised in Phoenix AZ among the poorer sides of town. MANY Hispanic neighbors, good people, good neighbors. Fond memories. Still have friends there that I think so much of.

    With regards to the non-hero-self-declared young man (STILL a Hero in my book, as well as Pres. Obama agrees) Daniel Hernandez.

    I have not heard a single whisper about him “Are YOU an Illegal Immigrant?” “Are YOU an anchor baby?” Like I said, I worried about what Jan Brewer might say, but she did okay enough. I truly think that young man Mr. Hernandez, so humble & so capable, will go FAR in life!

    I especially appreciated the Indian Blessing that was done by a Doctor from the Medical Center. Native American/Hispanic heritage, truly a wonderful touch. The entire memorial (especially President Obama’s speech) was beautiful and inspiring. Well done Tucson, you gave thoughts to forward this nation!

    • Kath the Scrappy says:

      Just to clarify, some/many of our wonderful neighbors while I was growing up were undocumented. But it didn’t change who they were or how supportive to a friendly neighborhood.

      • A fan from CA says:

        In time, I hope we learn more about this well spoken young man. I hears somewhere that he is a naturalized citizen. It would be great to hear the story of his families journey to the USA. There is so much untrue propaganda out there about immigration he could really make a difference for those who have open minds but are getting feed a diet of misinformation.

    • jojobo1 says:

      Yes the memorial was well done all around

  46. thatcrowwoman says:

    I am, among other things, a Jewess, but have been blessed with knowing and learning from many folks from many diverse backgrounds and cultures. Like many crows, I am a collector, and along the way I have collected many prayers and stories and songs and recipes. I fell asleep earlier with my wings wrapped around all who mourn, much as I wrap myself in a prayer shawl, and just woke with this prayer on my lips.

    I learned it from my 6th grade teacher. It is attributed to St. Francis. I offer it to you before I go back “to sleep, perchance to dream….”

    The Prayer of St. Francis (also known as the Peace Prayer)

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    where there is sadness, joy;

    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood as to understand;
    to be loved as to love.

    For it is in giving that we receive;
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

    • tigerwine says:

      I am humbled, inspired and grateful. I’m printing it out and looking for the Scotch tape to stick it near my computer.

      • dreamgirl says:

        I’m going to begin my mornings saying this outloud till it becomes ingrained. I need some extra discipline in the self-awareness dept./self improvement dept. and the less selfish and less reactionary dept.

        Thatcrowwoman you are a gem.

        P.s. As I was transcribing this prayer… I became conscience of crows cawing quite loudly (I keep my window cracked in winter for the fresh snowy air) and they got quieter as I finished! Not joking!

    • Elizabeth says:

      A long time favorite of mine. I have a transcription set with guitar chords which I used to sing for children.

    • jojobo1 says:

      Just beautiful thatcrowwoman,thank you

  47. Lee323 says:

    The President was brilliant. His speech was so poignantly personal, and at the same time he retained the moral authority of a true leader.

    May the thought of millions of Americans throughout this country lifting up these families in their grief help them through the funerals to come starting tomorrow.

  48. EatWildFish says:

    It is astonishing that Sarah Paylin would launch her self-serving video on the same day as the Tucson memorial service. Trying to grab the spotlight to continue her spew.

    Reprehensible is right. Even Fox isn’t mentioning the Quitter’s name.

  49. Baker's Dozen says:

    Thank you for the post and pictures. I’m going to watch the rebroadcast now, having missed the original.
    In honor of Christina and all the others, I’m going to try and make my country a little better by helping someone I normally wouldn’t have helped tomorrow. I’m going to go out looking for the opportunity instead of just hoping it comes to me.

    Love to you all.

  50. UgaVic says:

    Somewhere in here I do hope we can all say a prayer for the parents and family of the young man who did this horrible thing. It has been repeated many times that his parents are a ‘mess’ and had no idea he might do this.

    The fight of the mentally ill to get the needed help is something IMHO that must also be brought up.

    Those who died and those who survived would never wish this on others. Let’s hope we can look at all the things that could come from this to help others.

    • I agree with you. I used to work in a halfway house and my heart goes out to the families of convicts. And as someone who has battled clinical depression all of my life, I know how difficult dealing with mental illness can be.

      • bubbles says:

        Oh my Linda. you too? depression is so hard. one is walking a constant tightrope strung over an abyss that has no bottom. it is terrifying and you feel no one can help. no one understands. or worse you feel you have it under control and you ‘don’t need no help from nobody’. we all need help sometimes. sometimes a baby’s smile is enough to snap us out of the void long enough to seek help.

    • dreamgirl says:

      Thanks for bringing this up. Many people feel the same way and I’ve read that many have sent flowers and letters to the Loughners.

      When Americans get affordable healthcare, maybe this country can avoid this type of scenario. Mental illness is like a chronic condition to some, and treatable to many. Here’s hoping in this sad cloud, illuminating mental illness and affordable healthcare is another silver lining in this AZ tragedy.

      I feel for the Loughners and wish them healing thoughts.

      • Forty Watt says:

        Thanks from me too. My heart breaks for them and I hope they can eventually find some peace.

      • bubbles says:

        nicely said Dreamgirl. this is not their fault but they will always feel that it is. poor souls. their son has destroyed them as well.

      • Millie says:

        You can’t help but feel very, very sorry for the parents of Loughner. I saw something on the news – said by their neighbor – that indicated Loughner’s Mom is in bed and all they do is cry. Cannot imagine. Multiple press people were standing outside their home and they had to ask their neighbor for help.

        So many people hurt in so many different ways.

      • jojobo1 says:

        We had a young man take hostages at school,he ended up killing only himself.No one will ever know why,He was well liked fun loving young man and seemed to have no problems.The community came together and hundreds went to his funeral in support of him and his parents.

  51. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Very sad that for one evening, JUST ONE EVENING, we can’t stop b1tching about SARAH WHO. I think I’m done for awhile.

    • Laurie says:

      I am beginning to be aware of my own addiction. I don’t need to talk about her, but I have found myself spending way too much time cruising the interwebs needing to know what the hell she is up to now.

      Tomorrow I’m going to call a friend and make plans to go out to dinner. Then I’ll rent a move and stay off the internet. How much damage can one sociopath do while I take a night off?

      • Bob Benner says:

        As inspiring as President Obama’s speech was, we still need to stand up against bullies like Sarah Palin… Take a break, get recharged, and then come back and fight the good fight…

    • bubbles says:

      we are with you on this Martha. some of us read the comments after others have made theirs therefore they didn’t get what you were trying to do. i think that is what happened in this case. don’t despair little sis. we understand.

  52. Bob Benner says:

    Great speech…

  53. Califpat says:

    In this time of tragedy, I felt sorrow, pride, and inspiration as our President so eloquently spoke and brought about feelings of hope and peace within me!! Thank you Mr. President!!

  54. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    I give up here. Enjoyed many posts but can’t shake the feeling that there is more than a hint of addiction going on.

    I’m off to draw some angels, good night.

  55. Zyxomma says:

    For anyone who (like me) missed the broadcast, it’s here:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/01/12/president-obama-memorial-arizona

    It’s beautiful, sad and hopeful all at once.

  56. Ben in SF says:

    Sooo…words ARE important and relevant and meaningful.

  57. AlaskaDisasta says:

    Did I hear correctly? Did Bimbo Brain actually say ‘pundint’ instead of pundit? What, exactly, is her mother tongue? Scrambled?

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Yes, but BIMBO BRAIN WHO?

    • GoI3ig says:

      If you’re talking about $arah P…..she made up a fake accent for the 2008 election cycle. It’s part Canadian, and part “Fargo Marge.” She didn’t used to speak that way. She made up this persona, and now she is stuck with it.

      She is a fraud from top to bottom. Anyone who saw any of her reality show quickly realized that she isn’t a hunter, or even an outdoors person. She was out of her element on every episode. She has been a liar and a fraud her whole life. Why should she change now.

      Every time she gets caught (Troopergate, Valley tax evasion, etc.) it is always someone else to blame. She is truly pathetic.

    • tigerwine says:

      AK Disasta – Thanks for bringing this up – I thought I had mis-heard, but it sounded like “pundint” to me also, too on later showings of the video.

    • A Fan From Chicago says:

      AD, remember, English is a fluid language, always evolving and going in new and exciting directions. Got to celebrate it!

      • Wonderful…!!! Thank you..

      • AlaskaDisasta says:

        There is a fine line between “evolving” and “devolving”. Those who never learned their english lessons or grammar would say ‘evolving’. However, those who studied and did well in their lessons would correctly say ‘devolving’. It’s all a matter of perspective. But english, like every other language, was built on languages of old, with roots with specific meanings. New words, such as ‘googled’, ‘unfriend’ (for facebook), etc are perfect examples of an evolving or expanding language. Mispronounced or misspelled words because of ignorance are just that, marks of someone who has yet to master his or her mother tongue.

        • ThanThat was hideous…however, I did get to go to the Fox site(which was especially full of nasty pigs) I DID wallow- but only for a time…SHIVERS….! I just wonder about the homes of these sad mean people-everywhere…I think of their children…and their pets…Fox has spawned hateful sycophants….

  58. North of the Range says:

    Bubbles and others found the right word for this speech– magnificent. I think it is a speech that will both transcend time, and speak for its time.

  59. PollyinAK says:

    Jay – thank you for the photos!! Amazing the lines were a mile long at 11 a.m.. President Obama is an elite human being. He talked about LOVE…. being more important than wealth, success, and fame. Everyone attending should sleep better tonight… I guess we all will… Comforter-in-Chief did an awesome job.

  60. seattlefan says:

    President Obama literally hit a home run tonight. Not only did he avoid all the political land mines, he transcended the whole conversation by focusing on the victims of this tragedy. He named them each and told their story. He acknowledged all the amazing heroes and he made us feel connected. I cried through most of it but when he spoke of Christina and said “I want America to be as good as she imagined it” I wiped off my tears and said yes! It was a great moment for our country and for our President. He came to mourn, he gave his praises and he inspired. What more can you ask.

  61. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Christina, I miss you
    Although I never knew you
    Before you had wings

    Christina, I know you
    Your family, too
    Now you have wings

    Christina, my heart breaks
    I’ll do whatever it takes
    Before I have wings

    A promise to keep
    While all of us weep
    Before we have wings

  62. ks sunflower says:

    It is a good time to take a moment and feel deep gratitude for the blessing we have in our President.

    He and his family are setting the tone and the example we need to follow. I am so proud and feel so blessed that he is our President. Blessing be on President Obama for his insightful intelligence and compassionate heart.

  63. ****UPDATE**** Check out the pictures that Jay sent :-)

  64. Deb says:

    My response to Palin from now on—-Our president is right. We must hold ourselves to the level of discourse that honors the victims of this tragedy. We must ignore the polarizing language used by others and choose our words carefully. We should teach by example, not by snark, or accusations. Ms. Palin appears to thrive on polarizing and causing knee jerk reactions. For those that support her, it is to be duped and to continue to buy into the ugliness that comes from her mouth. For those of us on the opposite side, it has created a negative knee jerk to the ugly language. If we are to rise above it, then we must truly rise above it. I have been guilty of making ugly, snide remarks about her. While I’ve never actually wished her bodily harm, I have insinuated that “she should be stopped”, which could be read the wrong way by some. Our president is a true leader that I can believe in. This tragedy, while not directly the fault of any one person, should, in fact, teach us to choose our words carefully and to encourage honest, civil discourse, if we are to learn anything from what has happened. We cannot stop those who choose to take the low road…but we CAN choose to take the high road. I, like Keith, will strive to do that. (I may be drinking a lot more wine and taking a lot more deep breaths before I talk or write), but I no longer choose to “wrestle with pigs” as the old saying goes. The pigs do enjoy it and I just find myself getting dirtier and dirtier! (and I may have to keep repeating the new motto-”Sarah who?”

    YES WE CAN!

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      I think this is exactly why God gave us wine. Lovely post!

    • overthemoon says:

      Would she fall for the ruse that ‘taking up arms’ means ‘voting at the ballot box’ if someone were to suggest that we ‘take up arms’ to prevent her from gaining access to any office? You can bet she’d be hysterical.

    • bubbles says:

      but I no longer choose to “wrestle with pigs” as the old saying goes. The pigs do enjoy it and I just find myself getting dirtier and dirtier!
      *********************************************
      lovely Deb. thank you. enjoy the wine. think i will join you in a small glass.

    • The republicans will NOT do what you suggest in your lovely post…if they actually worked together, what a country we would have..!

    • yes…. in total agreement…. we can do this.

  65. Forty Watt says:

    Well, I have finally stopped crying – actually I’m not totally sure about that. Tomorrow I start to think about what I need to do to deserve having such a President and to live up to the expectations of children everywhere.

  66. nymiss says:

    Magnificent! Healing! Spiritual!

    Enough to warm the cold, cold, heart of a teabagger (if only just for a minute)!

    May God have mercy on America and deliver us from herself and her minions…

  67. Suchanut says:

    Our president is miraculous…I can’t think of a better word….

  68. seachele99 says:

    Sister Sarah fails to even heed to her own opinions. Lest not we forget the “perceived whine” statement she made about Hillary Clinton in 2008. Sarah has spent a lot of time whining and wallowing in self pity.

  69. TNbluedot says:

    Our president was fabulous! A very moving and thought-provoking memorial. I pray I can live up to it.

    That said, MUYS, I’m watching David Frum and David Corn on Lawrence O’Donnell discussing “herself” and her speech, slapping my fingers to keep from commenting. You are absolutely right and thank you!

  70. Gramiam says:

    As an Arizonan, I truly miss her. She represented everything I loved about living here. I have hope that another Democrat like her will step up.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Hold onto that hope and spread it around far and wide!

    • bubbles says:

      be hopeful dear Grami. i have a feeling this lady will again take her place in Congress. don’t lose hope. give her time then we will see.

    • Ginger says:

      I am hoping and praying Gabby will be able to return to Congress soon. The doctor’s reports today sounded very encouraging. They won’t know if her speech was affected until they remove the tube but I am praying that she will be able to talk with no difficulty. I think our prayers are being heard.

  71. Hannah says:

    OK, sorry, I have to mention today’s messages: the president vs the former half-wit AK guv. President Obama stands VERY VERY VERY TALL. VERY TAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL indeed.

    The other person is very tiny, just a noisy, self-centered speck. I was going to add “of humanity” but that would be an insult to humanity.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      It was wonderful to see the faces of those who rushed to save Gabriella and others in the crowd. I’d read every description of their actions I could find, but to see their faces in that crowd and to hear them honored was very uplifting. Gosh, I cried pretty much through the whole thing – either in sadness or gladness. Had I been in that crowd, I would have been easily identified by being the person with ten boxes of Kleenex stuffed into purse and coat.

      • leenie17 says:

        As someone who cries at Hallmark commercials, I always marvel at the ability of people to hold it together in those kind of situations. I could never make it in politics because I’d cry every time a cute baby was handed my way!

        It was wonderful to see the crowd’s reaction to those people and Daniel Hernandez, who saved the Congresswoman. Such selfless people and the best of what we’d all like to be and I’m so glad they were honored so eloquently by the President.

      • I cried throughout as well. I actually was amazed that the choir was able to sing after the speech. I don’t think I could have – crying doesn’t do much for one’s singing voice.

  72. Hannah says:

    President Obama was so eloquent, remembering each of the victims and the heroes. But he saved the best for last with the challenge for our country to live up to little Christina’s idealism. The First Lady is so genuine, what a great couple. I was heartened to see many from Congress there, particularly the women – Pelosi, Gillibrand & Wasserman-Schultz. I may have missed others… Boehner should be shamed again and again for choosing a fundraiser over a memorial.

    Snark alert (not about you know who) – Janet Napolitano got a HUGE ovation, about 100 x greater than her successor, the bigot and low-income transplant patient killer.

  73. Lacy Lady says:

    I am also so proud of our President and First Lady. He did a great job!!!!!
    As for McCain—-I didn’t see him, but as some have said–he was sitting behind the President and First Lady. I have never seen him being interviewed since this tragedy. Do you suppose he is being “not available” for comment?

    • Gramiam says:

      McCain was interviewed on Saturday and only spoke a few sentences. The poor man looked a bit lost and very subdued. I haven’t heard a word from him since. I simply thank my higher power that he and his running mate were defeated in 2008, for they would have destroyed America.

    • Millie says:

      I wondered too why we’ve seen nothing said from McCain especially being he is their senior statesman.

  74. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Did anyone else notice the reverberation when the crowd clapped? it was so strong I first thought something was wrong with my TV. I can imagine it was incredible to hear in person, and I’ll bet the folks outside who didn’t get seats heard it. I wonder…

    • Laurie says:

      The host on C-span said that the auditorium held something like 14,000 and the overflow with monitors showing the speakers had an equal or similar number of seats.

  75. auni says:

    It was a wonderful speech. You could just see our wonderful first lady supporting her husband–just willing him to create a moment of coming together for this country–and he did it.

    • overthemoon says:

      Why do I have a feeling that Mrs. Obama had some input on that speech, even if simply from discussions with the President…or her presence in his life.

  76. G Katz says:

    I am so proud of the President and the First Lady of the United States of America! They both deserve credit for jobs well done, especially this evening.

  77. Califpat says:

    Our President was inspiring and so so classy!!

  78. leenie17 says:

    President Obama had an enormous challenge tonight in balancing the need to comfort a nation, mourn the dead, honor the survivors and celebrate the heroes. He had to walk an incredibly fine line between saying what needed to be said but being respectful of those who were killed.

    I think he did a magnificent job and I was particularly touched by his obvious difficulty in talking about Christina Green. This is a man who deeply cherishes his family and it was clear that the loss of a young girl so close in age to his own was particularly painful. His puddle comments were just the right touch, and I can’t imagine anyone listening to him ask us to live up to Christina’s expectations without tearing up.

    Thank you, President Obama.

  79. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Can we remove the Twit from our vocabulary and discourse for the rest of this day? I think we can. Let’s think of Gabby instead, and send well wishes to uplift her, and ourselves, instead of being mad.

  80. aussiegal77 says:

    Thank you, President Obama. Once again you prove to be the right man for the occasion and for the office of President.

    It’s curious why Palin chose today of all days to debut her diatribe. And what a contrast, what stark difference between President Obama and Sarah Palin.

    Obama is saying let’s keep calm, carry on and heal together, let’s talk, let’s respect each other and let’s aim to be better. Obama is encouraging everyone to be loving, to forgive and to go on to greater acts of love. Palin is whining because she’s actually being asked to be responsible then she used a vile term offending Jewish people while at the same time making herself the Victim of the Moment in a national tragedy. Seriously. It doesn’t get any more stark than this.

    I feel sorry for Palin that she can not at any time think of anyone other than her own self. Not even when people have tragically died, including a nine year old girl.

  81. jimzmum says:

    Himself and I have a Grandgirlie just the age of Christina, plus a couple of months. Our Girlie is very, very bright. Inquisitive, hilarious, and just an all-around neat kid. When Mr. Obama talked about the puddles, I lost it. Completely.

  82. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Stirring, powerful and emotional speech!

    Whenever I see Christina’s face, I start crying. It is the innocents who are the most difficult to say goodbye to. I hope there are huge mud puddles wherever she is, and that she has the cutest rain boots with which to jump in all of them. In the spring, during break up, we have some of the monster mud puddles of all time and I will join her in the simple pleasure of wooshes and splats and wows and “That was a huge one, I better close my mouth next time!”

  83. GA Peach says:

    I love my President and I love how he loves his wife and daughters.

    • The republicans are most likely seething because he’s a good and decent AND smart man…exactly what none of them are….

      • lilybart says:

        No matter what, he is a GOOD MAN. And these days that means a lot.

        • Cammie says:

          Isn’t that the sad truth. Especially among our national leaders. It’s hard to know definitively just which ones really are fundamentally good and decent.

      • bubbles says:

        exactly!!! sometimes i wish that my creator had endowed me with brains instead of bubbles but i am glad i had the sense to get my rear-end in gear and to support this brilliant and gracious man. i promised to help and support him in any way that i can. when Barack Obama took his oath of office two years ago my family and i raised our right hands and repeated the words with him. we meant it then and we mean it now.

  84. I was so moved by all who spoke and by those in attendance. I cried through most of President Obama’s wise and thoughtful words. Now we all need to take those steps to be better people than we have been. It’s so very sad that it takes something like this to remind us of the country we should and can be.

    • Elizabeth says:

      If anyone still thinks our President has no feelings after watching him tonight, they are blind. It was a very tough speech for him especially at the beginning and whenever he mentioned Christina.

      • Millie says:

        I thought President Obama did a magnificient job last night too. His words brought tears to my eyes throughout and I loved the response of the crowd celebrating life!

        McCain was in the second row behind the Obamas and to their left. The camera didn’t go to him much throughout the service.

  85. jimzmum says:

    Where was Mr. McCain? Did I miss him? Himself and I watched on CNN. Broke my heart. Made me proud. Made me cry.

  86. Cassie Jeep says:

    God bless the President of the United States and his elegant First Lady. They make me proud in all this sadness, and re-light hope for a better tomorrow.

  87. bubbles says:

    the speech by President Obama was magnificent. my heart is full of sadness for us all. i am mindful of AKM and her family and the loss they have recently sustained.
    Barack Obama gave me a great deal to think about tonight. the energy of the people who attended the service was amazing and when the president said that Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes i was so happy and encouraged. what a wonderful, miraculous recovery. here’s hoping our country listened very carefully and that we too begin to experience a miraculous recovery from hate and haters. we can do this. yes. we can.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      I love your energy bubbles!

      • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

        Without the comma, I made you sound like a noun. Now I’m going to punctuation jail, and may never get out.

        • NOLA says:

          I dunno… I kinda like the idea of “energy bubbles”

          • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

            I’ll bet she has some – maybe that’s why she chose her name.

          • prisonernumbersix says:

            Actually, if you have had the pleasure of meeting Bubbles in person, it pretty much fits!

          • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

            She has an open invitation to visit Alaska and she better get up here before I drag her up here by her energy bubbles.

          • bubbles says:

            ((((MarthaUYS, NOLA, Prisoner 6))))
            thank you. what sweet words to read upon waking. i have to tell you i pooped out after the speech and my comment. i been having a tiny pain flare-up and been feeling a bit out of sorts. last night i watched our President and listened carefully to every word. i laughed. i cried. i cheered. i was consoled and then i ‘plotzed’. when i woke this morning much of the pain and stiffness had lessened and now i am glad to be here this morning to read your loving words. thank you. you mean the world to me.

        • Wallflower says:

          “energy bubbles” rock!

    • Gramiam says:

      Ladies and Gentlemen, We elected a great President. What he did tonight was magnificently Presidential. He provided everything the event needed and more, bless him.

    • Yes we can….Bubbles!

    • dreamgirl says:

      Nicely said bubbles. When I heard of Giffords opening her eyes , it was and is so encouraging.

      And like MUYS, I love your energy bubbles too!

    • jojobo1 says:

      You are so right bubbles Yes we can,yes we will.President Obama’s smile lights up the whole room.Every time I see that smile(grin) it reminds me of how he could light up a whole room with just that smile.

  88. CO almost native says:

    One of my favorite hymns- thanks, thatcrowwoman. (And Judy Collins is of my state)

  89. thatcrowwoman says:

    “‘Tis a gift to be simple,
    ‘Tis a gift to be free,
    ‘Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
    And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
    It will be in the valley of love and delight.

    When true simplicity is gained,
    To bow and to bend, we will not be ashamed
    To turn, turn, will be our delight,
    ‘Til by turning, turning, we come round right.”

    Simple Gifts (Judy Collins version):

    Rest in Peace.
    L’Shalom.

  90. BBHounds says:

    Well the gun loving, gun toting “momma grizzly” sure as h*ll didn’t want any guns at her speech down here in Orange County, California.

    Information about the event specifically stated, “NO GUNS ALLOWED”.

    So what does that say about her?

    I can’t mention Tucson without tears. My thoughts are with all of them and their families along with AKM and her loved ones.

  91. leenie17 says:

    Here’s a perfect example of the heartlessness and greed of our Republican politicians. While the President is speaking at a somber memorial service in Tucson, honoring the victims of Saturday’s shooting, John Boehner has other important plans.

    “At around the same time, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will be slinging back cocktails with members of the Republican National Committee at a political party he’s hosting at the swanky National Harbor resort in the suburbs of D.C.” But it’s okay, really, ’cause he’s gonna stop drinking during the speech!

    Can’t cancel those all-important fundraising opportunities now, can we? Kinda makes those teary remarks he gave this morning on the House floor seem a bit less sincere, doesn’t it? Absolutely disgusting!

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/12/boehner-party-memorial-service/

    • I understand that the event was planned a long time ago and that people were in town from all over, but one would think that it could have been rescheduled or even delayed a few hours. If they had really wanted to change it, they would have done.

      • Jaybee48 says:

        Pat, you are right – of course it could have been changed. Boehner was able to cancel this week’s proceedings in the House very quickly but it seems fundraising is much more important.

      • leenie17 says:

        Under the circumstances, I am sure that anyone attending that event would have understood and supported Boehner should he have decided to postpone it, regardless of personal inconvenience. Even changing it to tomorrow would have been appropriate, but drinking and collecting checks is SO wrong when 27,000 people are gathered in Tucson, with millions more watching, to mourn and honor those affected by Saturday’s shooting. Plane tickets and schedules can be, and in this case should have been, changed.

        • Gorgegirl says:

          I think there are many other things to consider when cancelling or postponing events occurring at a large hotel. For instance, there are the employees of the hotel who might be specifically given scheduled for the event. Then again, there might be other conflicts of other events taking place.
          Instead, what Boehner should have done is what technology affords us to do these days – taped a video and left it to play and his aids to collect the checks.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Forget them for a day at least. They are not worthy of our attention or worry. Some day they may be, but not today.

    • Gramiam says:

      Boner’s Donors win every time! That’s how he rolls!

    • I completely agree….disgusting lack of respect..!

    • Terry in Maryland says:

      “at the swanky National Harbor resort in the suburbs of D.C”

      National Harbor is in my hometown of Oxon Hill, Maryland, a minority majority town in a minority majority county in a blue state. The National Harbor site was a gravel pit along the Potomac River when I was a kid and was reworked into a really nice area with restaurants, hotels, and meeting spaces. Most of the RNC folks wouldn’t be caught in Oxon Hill proper, I’m still amazed that they held their meeting at National Harbor.

      On point, I’m appalled that Boehner went from crying on camera directly to hosting a cocktail party and collecting checks. At least his priorities are clear.

    • Leenie: You are so right..!(except I think boehner got a head-start on those drinkie-poos…but he always sounds inebriated to me..

  92. A note: George Hanson, the conductor of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, used to conduct the Anchorage Symphony! :)

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Lucky Anchorage! You guys ought to ask for him back, the weather is much nicer up here you know. Sun and heat just get boring and gives you rashes.

  93. bubbles says:

    anyone who doesn’t have access to cable can watch this on: http://www.whitehouse.gov

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