Washington Post: President Obama has picked Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights icon Medgar Evers, to deliver the invocation at his public swearing-in later this month. It is believed to be the first time a woman, and a layperson rather than a clergy member, has been chosen to deliver what may be America’s most prominent public prayer.
The inaugural committee Tuesday plans to announce that the benediction will be given by conservative evangelical pastor Louie Giglio, founder of the student-focused Passion Conferences, which draw tens of thousands of people to events around the world.
…. In a statement released by the inaugural committee, the president said the careers of Evers-Williams and Giglio “reflect the ideals that the Vice President and I continue to pursue for all Americans – justice, equality and opportunity.”
Myrlie Evers-Williams and her children, Reena, Van and Darrell, photographed shortly after her husband (and their father), Medgar Evers, was assassinated in 1963. Fifty years later she will deliver the invocation for the inauguration of the President of the United States.
“I am humbled to have been asked to deliver the invocation for the 57th inauguration of the President of the United States – especially in light of this historical time in America when we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement.” (NBC)
Jerry Mitchell (May 2011): It is a life path difficult to imagine.
Aspiring concert pianist turned back by Jim Crow.
Marries Medgar Evers, a leader for the young civil rights movement in Mississippi.
Works as both his secretary and a stay-at-home mother.
Hears a shot just after midnight, June 12, 1963, and she dashes out to see that her husband has been assassinated, shot in the driveway of their home. Her children follow, see their mother cradling him in a pool of blood and cry out for daddy to get up.
He never does…..
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More interviews with Myrlie Evers-Williams here
Charles Pierce: …. Ever since that thoroughgoing, bean-counting, soulless bastard Robert McNamara was in charge of it, the Defense Department steadily has moved away from the notion that its primary constituency is the men and women in uniform. Certainly, to name one recent example, Donald Rumsfeld proved to be far more in love with his own brilliant theories on defense policies than he cared about the fact that we weren’t sending enough poor sods in inadequate body-armor to carry them out. This is a problem that Chuck Hagel never will have.
…. There are good, solid, deeper political reasons to approve of his nomination. But this is the best one. Chuck Hagel knows what the basic job of soldiering really is and, therefore, I think, he knows what the basic job of being Secretary Of Defense is. It’s to fight for people, and not for weapons systems. It’s to care for the human beings in your charge more than the fanciful bloodless academic exercises held at a distance…..
….In a season when Lincoln’s Second Inaugural is the big finish of a box-office bonanza, Hagel has lived the peroration as well as anyone has.
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Dear fellow American,
Two years ago, a mentally ill young man shot me in the head, killed six of my constituents, and wounded 12 others. Since that terrible day, America has seen 11 more mass shootings – but no response from Congress to prevent gun violence. After the massacre of 20 children and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary though, it’s clear: This time must be different.
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Morning everyone, wonderful news about Myrlie Evers-Williams