through all the noise and fury, we are one

An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us…
There are many memories from this day we will want to forget, and many images we will not want to see again. But there is one image in particular that this House should keep. And that is a photo I saw of our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer this morning after hearing the news…

photo credit: Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen, NV

We feel so deeply about the things we fight for and believe in. At times, our emotions can get the best of us…
For all the noise and fury, we are a family. These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire…
So before this House returns to its business, I want us to slow down and reflect, to think about how we are being tested right now…
I ask each of you to join me in resolving to come together…to lift each other up…and to show the country—show the world—that we are one House

I am not a fan of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. I am not supportive of his vision nor most of his rhetoric. But today, in the aftermath of the the attack on the GOP Congress baseball team, I found myself comforted, encouraged and inspired by Mr. Ryan’s speech before Congress. Not an easy task to accomplish in times of National troubles, nevertheless, it is something we look to our national leaders to do. Mr. Ryan did just that.

There was a lot of awfulness in Washington today. But, out of awfulness (almost) always comes some good. Mr. Ryan’s remarks today honoring the victims and the heroes; and urging unity very much qualifies .It’s easy to lose sight of our common humanity — whether you are a member of Congress or not. The tendency, particularly in our current national political environment, is to focus on what divides us, how different we are. Step back from that narrow focus, however, and you see we have much more in common than we differ on. Family, friends, food to eat, a place to live. Dreams and hopes. We tend, in circumstances like these, to remember the bad stuff. But, Ryan’s right. We need to push all that out and put some good images there instead.

Slow down.

Take a breath.

Realize that the goal of attacks like this is to highlight our differences. Allowing that to happen makes what the shooter did have real power. Coming together after such an attack neuters it of meaning.

It is that humanity which will win the day. It always will.

Tomorrow, Mr. Speaker, members of the House and Senate, America, we must move forward and work together for better because enough is enough. No one should ever fear being gunned down while in the workplace or at the mall or in a clinic or at church or temple or in a movie theater or a fast food restaurant or at school or on a baseball field.

No one.