The president and first lady made a trip to Dallas in order to attend the interfaith memorial service for the police officers who were killed last week. The service included speeches from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, President George W. Bush, and a final address from President Obama.
In such a heated time in our American history, all eyes have been on President Obama to see how he will handle such national turmoil. However, during his speech he gracefully and passionately addressed not just the city of Dallas, but the country as a whole.
He was able to bridge the gap between the protesters and the officers. When speaking about the officers who died on that terrible evening, the president said, “When they were assigned to protect and keep orderly a peaceful protest, they were upholding the constitutional rights of this country.”
Nods and gestures of agreement could be seen by the officers and politicians behind him as the president spoke of the duties and responsibilities of the brave men and women who acted that evening.
“For a while the protest went on without incident,” said the president, “Despite the fact that police conduct was the subject of this protest, these men did their jobs like the professionals that they were.”
President Obama then took a moment to encourage and uplift the somber attitudes of the people of Dallas. He spoke directly to the city and said, “I’m here to say, we must reject such despair, we are not as divided as we seem, I know how far we’ve come against impossible odds.”
These words come from a man who has lived to see a much stronger and fiercer racism of a past time. It is clear that the president feels grief for the deceased officers, yet he also wants this to be a moment to unite, rather than divide us.
Finally, the president went on to thank Mayor Rawlings for his swift actions and left the crowd with words that we should all remember to live by:
“Let us love not with words or speech but with actions and truth.”
The full service can be seen below.
(Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)