I realize I’m a day late on this, but I wanted to share something that happened yesterday. It was my honor to emcee the Memorial Day Ceremony at Bay Pines National Cemetery. It was the first in-person event since the pandemic.
I must tell you how moved and humbled I was by what I saw. About three thousand people turned out to show their support for the service members who gave their lives defending our freedom. I’m told fifty thousand people watched it virtually.
Speeches. Songs. Patriotic presentations. Not a word about what divides America these days. Only those things that unite. Appreciation for those who served in our armed forces.
Behind the stage, a sea of American flags. Volunteers had placed more than 25,000 on each gravestone. It was really thrilling to see.
It was a very nice way to take a break from the news of the day which we know is not good at all.
The sadness coming out of Uvalde, Texas, just seems to get worse. Funerals now for the 19 children and two teachers killed in the massacre.
The first two students were buried yesterday. Two ten- year-olds. More funerals today. They are expected to last several weeks. I can’t imagine what this must be like for these families.
The Justice Department is now looking into the law enforcement response in Uvalde. Maybe we should say lack of response.
Here’s what the Associated Press is reporting: Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at the Friday news conference that after following the gunman into the building, officers waited over an hour to breach the classroom.
The wait. The decisions made at the at the school. The training of officers. All of it must be considered.
In Washington, it appears there is real bipartisan talk about doing something about gun violence. President Biden says he can do only so much. “I can’t outlaw a weapon. I can’t, you know, change the background checks. I can’t do that.”
Congress will have to take it on. There is a sense of optimism. Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn is involved in these behind the scenes talks.
Cornyn tells Fox News, “One thing I hope that does not happen is that the various parties sort of fall back into their typical talking points. I hope we will try to look in a clear-eyed way at what happened.”
That does give me some hope that something may finally be done. Efforts are likely to focus on mental health. Also, encouraging states to pass red flag laws to help identify those contemplating violence.
It’s a start. Whatever it takes to stop this is good with me. We just can’t keep doing this.