Michele and listened to the memorial at Tucson last night. I think this may have been the first public memorial I have ever watched. I missed both Reagan's Challenger speech and Clinton's Oklahoma bombing speech. I don't know why I usually don't like to listen to these sort of things but did want to hear Obama's comments ( which were billed as being about ten minutes), but I am glad I listened.
At first I was taken back by the boisterous crowd. I was expecting a church – with hushed, somber, rhetoric - and I got a basketball arena. But -starting with the opening prayer – I was moved by the whole thing. I thought Obama was at his best and it reminded me of Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech – not so much in the words but in the internal timing of the speech. I was not the only one that felt that way.
But, in the end, it was not so much what Obama said, but the obvious emotion that was so powerful.