|SNOW CAPPED SUMAC|
We watched the memorial event at the University of Arizona in Tucson last night with something akin to trepidation, realizing it might be overwhelmingly sad at best, or at worst a political circus. As it turned out , with its cheers, tears, whistles and shouts, it seemed to us a mixture of revival meeting and pep rally. Rather odd perhaps, but not in final analysis inappropriate. Loss was mourned, reluctant heroes honored, dignitaries welcomed, God praised, hope rekindled. Everyone said all the right things and none of the wrong things, and the President was eloquent, a fitting figure as head of state. One prominent commentator was puzzled by the introductory invocation by an American Indian shaman who, eagle feather in hand, blessed most everything possible to bless…the four directions, the animals and plants, things on the earth, above the earth and below the earth…Joan and I, however, found it not only appropriate but comforting, an imagery we are very familiar with, living as we do three miles from the Rez. All in all the event at the University was healing, inspirational, and quintessentially American. As the young hero Hernandez said in his amazing extemporaneous remarks, “We realize we are all Arizonans, and all Americans.” I think the event might have been difficult for someone from another country or culture to fathom, but that’s who and what we are, and proud of it.