a letter from the first lady

An Open Letter to Parents Following the Tragedy in Tucson

Dear parents,

Like so many Americans all across the country, Barack and I were shocked and heartbroken by the horrific act of violence committed in Arizona this past weekend.  Yesterday, we had the chance to attend a memorial service and meet with some of the families of those who lost their lives, and both of us were deeply moved by their strength and resilience in the face of such unspeakable tragedy.

As parents, an event like this hits home especially hard.  It makes our hearts ache for those who lost loved ones.  It makes us want to hug our own families a little tighter.  And it makes us think about what an event like this says about the world we live in – and the world in which our children will grow up.

In the days and weeks ahead, as we struggle with these issues ourselves, many of us will find that our children are struggling with them as well.  The questions my daughters have asked are the same ones that many of your children will have – and they don’t lend themselves to easy answers….

….We can teach them the value of tolerance – the practice of assuming the best, rather than the worst, about those around us.  We can teach them to give others the benefit of the doubt, particularly those with whom they disagree.

…We can explain to them that although we might not always agree with those who represent us, anyone who enters public life does so because they love their country and want to serve it.

Christina Green felt that call.  She was just nine years old when she lost her life….

And that’s something else we can do for our children – we can tell them about Christina and about how much she wanted to give back.  We can tell them about John Roll, a judge with a reputation for fairness; about Dorothy Morris…. And we can work together to honor their legacy by following their example – by embracing our fellow citizens; by standing up for what we believe is right; and by doing our part, however we can, to serve our communities and our country.


Michelle Obama

Read the full letter here

(I confidently predict right wing OUTRAGE over this wonderful letter, particularly about the passages marked in red – “Look, look, she’s blaming us!” But then again, when was there ever no OUTRAGE from the right over anything the Obamas have ever said and done?? Thank you, First Lady)

9 Responses to “a letter from the first lady”

  1. 1 kelly
    January 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    This is much needed, I love her.

  2. 2 Sue in Minnesota
    January 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Such an important opportunity, executed with grace, from a loving and generous heart. Shine on FLOTUS!

  3. 3 EDP4BHO
    January 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    She and Barack (President Obama, I must formalize) were made for each other!

  4. 4 majii
    January 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    The president and FL get it. They know how they would feel if they lost a family member, especially one of their kids. I’m not going to allow myself to think about the feigned outrage that may come from the right. I don’t think so many on the right would be as upset as they are about this presidency if the rw media would provide accurate information to them. The major players in rw media won’t do it because it’s not in their best interest. A deluded voter can’t vote in his/her own best interest. I wish they’d stop talking about the Founding Fathers. The FF believed that the role of the media in a democracy was to provide accurate information to the citizens so that they could choose the politicians who most represented their best interests. I don’t understand why so many on the right listen to Beck, Limbaugh, and the others. These people aren’t like them at all. It’s easy for me to understand why a rich person (not all of them, but many) would be more interested in arguing FOR tax cuts for the richest Americans. He/she isn’t particularly interested in representing the interests of poor and middle class citizens. He/she is interested in protecting his/her own money and making even more money, usually from the blood, sweat, and tears of the poor and middle classes. I wouldn’t vote for someone who wouldn’t want me to join a union so that I could be paid a wage that would help me be a better provider for my family. My kids go lacking, while the kids of CEOs have the best of everything doesn’t sound like a winning proposition for me or my family.

  5. 5 LadyTNT
    January 14, 2011 at 1:25 am

    The First Lady is Brilliant and just what we need.

  6. 6 Eleroy
    January 14, 2011 at 2:31 am

    can’t say it enough: Mrs Obama was born to be the First Lady and at this very defining moment!!!
    She is a splendid part of an exceptional whole!!!

  7. 7 YesWeCan
    January 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Chipsticks, where is this posted? It is so moving and Michelle is a wonderful wife and mother. Together our President and Michelle are perfect for each other. What a blessing they share.

    I too have lost a child in a tragedy and in a small way understand what Christine’s parents are going through. The fact that the President came to Tuscan will help them in their grieving but healing is no small matter. It takes a long time to be able to face the world again as a partially whole person. God will provide, that I can say with honesty. He will lift them up in their darkest moments and when this happens they will feel His Holy Spirit guiding them through the pain.

  8. 9 anniebella
    January 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I am so darn proud of her. Our wonderful First Lady.

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