Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Speech

In case you missed it, here is the President's speech at Tuscon last night, probably his best yet.

While the President and other speakers quoted Scripture generously in their speeches at the memorial service, I thought of the conclusion of Albert Camus' The Plague which is worth quoting in full:

Dr. Rieux resolved to compile this chronicle, so that he should not be one of those who hold their peace but should bear witness in favor of those plague-stricken people; so that some memorial of the injustice and outrage done to them might endure; and to state quite simply what we learn in time of pestilence: that there are more things to admire in men than to despise.
Nonetheless, he knew that the tale he had to tell could not be of one final victory. It could only record of what had had to be done. and assuredly would have to be done again in the never ending fight against terror and its relentless onslaughts, despite their personal afflictions, by all who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down to pestilences, strive to their utmost to be healers.
And indeed, as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.

1 comment:

klady said...

Thank you so much, Doug, for the Camus. Uncanny quote.