When a horrific tragedy occurs, such as what happened last week in Aurora, Colo., the walls that separate us culturally, ethnically and economically break down and we come together to heal.

National tragedy brings us together as one people, breathing the same air, hoping to live into our senior years, watch our children mature as they enjoy their youth and experience all the wonders of life.

Tragedy forces us to be honest with ourselves. We try to provide a secure environment using our best resources, hire our brightest people and provide them with the most modern technologically advanced equipment and training available.

All this and we still cannot guarantee tomorrow for everyone. Tragedy tells us that we do not control our environment, we cannot stop true evil and we are not invincible as a nation. The power of tragedy, however, is fleeting; it knocks us to our knees, from whence we find our greatest strength as a peoples.

We are a people of many faiths and beliefs. This is not just true in our founding and our heritage; this is true in our national identity.

It was with deliberate forethought that those traditionally recognized words were added in the First Amendment.

The hope in those words is clear: We would guarantee the freedom to believe or not throughout our future.

Freedom, liberty and justice are not just bywords for days gone past. These are the strengths of America, along with our faith and beliefs.

When we are knocked to our knees, we remember our other resilient strengths, our different beliefs that give us relief and comfort.

(God) bless Aurora and the United States of America.

 

James Weathersby
Augusta

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