We just received a national lesson on the grace of grief. Aretha Franklin and John Mc Cain, via nationally telecast funerals, allowed us to grieve as a nation. Franklin’s fleet of 100 Pink Cadillac filled the streets of Detroit in a tribute to the iconic singer’s legacy of the music track to our lives. McCain asked President’s Obama and Bush who had defeated him in Presidential elections bids to give eulogies at his funeral.
The 2 Presidents and the 100 pink Cadillacs were symbols of grieving like the chalice held up in the Washington National Cathedral funeral or the Greater New Mt. Moriah Baptist Church choir singing Amazing Grace.
Both symbols were ethical will ‘s passed on to our nation – McCain warning us to return to a bi-partisan democracy that is slipping quickly out of our hands and Franklin demanding respect – for people of all of color in a nation besieged by anti-immigration, white supremacy and the violence of hate.
We need to grieve as a nation. But we need to move beyond Mc Cain’s and Franklin wishes and warnings in their departing messages.
Obama asked for that next step, quoting, lines from Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, McCain’s favorite book
“Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today,” Obama said, then challenging “What other way to honor John McCain’s life of service than to, as best we can, follow his example?”. This was to stand up for what you believe in for some things that are worth risking everything for like his torture as a POW for 5 and a half years.
Franklin eulogizers echoed this. Aretha was not a prisoner of war for 5 1/2 years but a prisoner of race. She railed against her bars of bigotry, sexism and the terror of the Klan – overcoming her fears – by demanding respect and spreading it through the national anthem Respect we have all been singing for years
As President Clinton eulogized her “She lived with courage, not without fear. But overcoming her fears.”
So, we can listen what Mc Cain and Franklin bequeathed us and take the next- step -vote back a democratic government that is slipping away from us with this president, demand our national respect for all being created equal, open our borders, so we are again nation of immigrants not a nation of hate