July 23, 2016

There are Times when even (Maybe) Future Presidents must Pay Homage.



“When we feel the unity of the world circulate in us like our own blood.” ~ Herman Hesse

There are times when there is nothing more important than paying homage to something holy—not holy in the religious sense, but holy in the sense that it is beyond religion or even words or politics.

One of those times is when people have spontaneously expressed what is in their hearts, when there is an outpouring of support and understanding and commonality that cannot be ignored.

There are times when there are so many flowers remembering innocent victims, so many handwritten notes, so many teddy bears, so many small and large offerings from the heart that it calls everyone to pay attention to it.

No, it demands that everyone pay attention to it.

It demands that all people—all people—come together in oneness.

After the attempted assassination of Gabby Giffords, U.S. Representative fromnArizona in 2011, I went to the location of her office to offer some flowers. Standing beside me was a couple reading aloud in a foreign language from a holy book of sorts.  It could have been Hebrew, it could have been Arabic. I didn’t have a clue. When they paused I asked if I could join them. They stepped aside and made room for me between them as they continued praying—except this time, I was holding the prayer book.

When they were done they nodded and smiled at me and we parted ways without a word.

I still cry when I think of it.

In the face of such one-ness and such an outpouring of love, the families and loved ones of those who were lost in the shooting in Orlando, Florida, as well of those who responded and tried to save those who were lost, as well as those who were not lost but who remain standing in their own wonder as to how they escaped, there is no one, absolutely no one who is too important or too busy to stand amidst the outpouring.

No one.

Not even maybe future presidents.





Author: Carmelene Siani

Photo: Monica Alba, Jennifer Epstein, Tamara Keith

Editor: Travis May

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