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Fort Hood: Suggested Speech / Approach

November 5, 2009

Nov 5th, 2009

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen.

This nation has suffered a disturbing tragedy this afternoon, at a base in central Texas.

A gunman opened fire on soldiers at a Deployment Processing Centre, killing 12 and injuring more than 30. These men and women were exposed and unarmed. 21 Year old Keara Bono was processing to leave for Iraq on Dec 7th. She was shot in the back. Francheska Valez was also shot. She was pregnant. Pfc Aaron Namelka was adding his girlfriend to his will as he hoped to propose before deployment. 62 year old Physician’s assistant Mike Cahill was getting checked for a heart attack he suffered just two weeks ago. He’s survived.

No act, so cowardly and arrogant, so obviously troubled and mean; can ever be done in God’s name, or in human understanding. No explanation will ever mitigate our disgust or fill the void of our collective anguish.

Despite the shock and the horror, despite the gunfire; men and women walked into that Centre and into the night from which some – would not return; in service to each other, in service to us all and in service to an American ideal. The rescue workers responded while the threat was still real and the horror – ever present. In an unwavering dedication that Central Texas has known before, and as time immemorial can attest;

…under the darkest threat or depths of sorrow American character suffers no paralysis.

The victims: whether they walked in at morning’s dawn or after the fire are heroes all.
They and their families have the unwavering respect of the Presidency and the support and comfort of a grateful (albeit mortified) nation.

And now the duty to falls to us: to raise the children left behind and to bear their burdens – and in the character they served and serve us still. This is the way we’ve always struggled, fought or approached one; with regret, restraint, resolve and respect, armed sometimes with only our character, but always therefore with the limitless extent of our uniquely American magnanimity – a nobility and compassion the likes of which must surely impress even God.

There is no doubt in my mind, nor waiver in my confidence that we shall emerge from this darkness stronger, more deeply committed than ever to the causes of human dignity and more confident than ever in the character that has been a hallmark of this dark day.

Thank you.

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