Obama: “We Place Our Hands Over Our Hearts”?

The president’s speech on the Arizona shootings last night was magnanimous and worthy of his office. But I have an unfortunate thing for those forced to listen to political rhetoric: I have a memory. One passage in his speech struck my ear. Discussing the greatest tragedy of the shooting, the murder of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, he said:

Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001, one of 50 babies born that day to be pictured in a book called “Faces of Hope.” On either side of her photo in that book were simple wishes for a child’s life: “I hope you help those in need,” read one. “I hope you know all of the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope — I hope you jump in rain puddles”…

Here on this Earth, we place our hands over our hearts and we commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.

That speech was delivered by this guy, right?

Whatever the changes, I’m glad his rhetoric has shifted from the days he publicly stopped wearing a flag lapel pin as part of his presidential campaign. Perhaps Christina’s memory has inspired a greater fidelity to our nation’s founding, symbols, and institutions. Maybe this is his way of attempting to be “worthy of those we have lost.” I hope so.