Always before, there have been words.
Always before, someone crafted them with writerly skill and gave them to the president to give to us. Always, before.
When seven people died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, President Ronald Reagan spoke of how, just that morning, they “waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of Earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’ ”
When 168 people died in the Oklahoma City bombing, President Bill Clinton told the survivors, “You have lost too much, but you have not lost everything, and you have certainly not lost America, for we will stand with you for as many tomorrows as it takes.”
When 2,977 people died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush said, “Today our nation saw evil — the very worst of human nature — and we responded with the best of America.”
Yet as we pass a somber milestone — 100,000 Americans dead of the coronavirus pandemic — Donald Trump says nothing.