Topic: "Captive Audience"(6)
71% of the land surface of the United States of America was covered by snow this past Wednesday. All comments about "global warming" and "Al Gore" aside, true it is that nearly the entire nation found itself transfixed, by the magic that is television. For some, they watched because there was nothing else to do. For others, it isn't easy to explain. It had happened before, most notably in Dallas, followed thereafter by New York. It was as if we just needed to get together and have a good cry.
It did not take long to realize that something very important was happening. Frodo noted the presidential reference to "Congress on the corner" as an update to "government of the people, and by the people, and for the people" as an indication of something truly significant in mind. Minutes later, Frodo sensed the tone of an unwillingness to merely accept the sacrifice of the honored dead. He caught the cachet of a refusal to place blame on each other, and a stated desire for discussion over disputation. But was this merely Frodo's Lincolnesque bias at play, having heard only what he had hoped to hear?
There were tears in Sam's eyes, too. They talked about who was there, and who was not. They replayed the moments of greatest impact, and they listened as the first reviews came in from the land of talking heads. It was then that Frodo turned to Sam and said "I know you're going to think I'm crazy, but I think we just heard a modernization of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The War is not over, but amid the horror, we have to prepare for the peace that is to come. We must build that peace in honor of those who brought us to this point, at this time."
Sam listened, but was silent.
Tom Brokaw was there, on the screen. "Did you hear what he said?", said Frodo. "Tom Brokaw just said the same thing. He said that the President had patterned a 21st centrury rendition of the Gettysburg Address."
Frodo was full of himself. Tom Brokaw shared his thoughtful analysis and his impression of words spoken to a captive audience, most of whom were proud, and glad, that they had watched and listened, even though the words had not been written on the back of an envelope aboard a locomotive-driven train.
May the words, "Gabby opened her eyes," last just as long. They mean just as much.