In Response to the Tragic Mass Shooting in Orlando
Our flag and flags across the country are at half-staff in response to the tragic mass shooting in Orlando.
Such horrors are brought to our actual and digital doorsteps daily. As educators and parents, we hope that we are giving our children the habits of mind and heart to think both critically and compassionately in such times.
This event is hitting many of us especially hard because of its convergence of hate, love, global violence, and rending issues of national conscience. It’s dark cloud has clung to me since the news first broke.
So, I did not expect that watching the Tony Awards Sunday night would be anything more than a distraction.
But, Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer of Hamilton, did what great artists do. He absorbed the moment then created something beautiful and aspirational, personal and universal, painful and hopeful. In accepting his second Tony Award he delivered this brief sonnet:
My wife’s the reason anything gets done
She nudges me towards promise by degrees
She is a perfect symphony of one
Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they’re finished songs and start to play
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day.
This show is proof that history remembers
We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
Now fill the world with music, love and pride.
The victims of Orlando are in our thoughts and prayers.