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Sunday, December 11, 2016

THE END OF A LIFE, THE END OF AN ERA Today's Memorial Service for Janet Reno


     Today we attended Janet Reno's memorial service. 500 friends, members of her family, and a US President gathered to pay tribute to her long, courageous life. 
 The ceremony took place in the MDC auditorium, just a half-mile from her childhood home.

 After the ceremony, kids were playing at her home in the woods as they have for seventy years.  Photo by Margaria Fichtner



  US border guards marched 
in bearing rifles and flags. Several ministers spoke, leaders who had advised Janet when she served as our state attorney. Of course, Ms. Reno went on to be our country's Attorney General, the first woman to serve in that capacity. 
  The present AG, 
Loretta Lynch, spoke glowingly of her former mentor and friend. She then read a letter from President Obama praising Janet for her dedication to justice, innovation, and public service.

     Our 42d President, Bill Clinton, then stepped to the podium to praise his former Attorney General.  Clinton charmed the audience with his usual wit, his wisdom and many Janet stories.  
The President and Janet's nieces greeting friends.  Photo by Hunter Reno
     We were hearing from three of our country's most outstanding public servants describing one of their own. The words "truth", "honesty", "justice, "honor", and "dedication to public service" were mentioned many times. 
     It struck me how these ideals have faded so quickly in the last election year, the one dominated by a short-tempered huckster with no capacity for truth, civility, or public service. We may be reaching the end of an era.

      I'm glad Janet Reno was spared the disappointment of seeing DJT win. If she were still with us I think she'd be reminding us that our country has faced difficult challenges before.
    Like our departed friend showed us, we must stand up and be unafraid. She would say, "Be strong and courageous".  Janet would not allow us to let the era of honor and civility end.
After the eulogies Ms. Reno's friend, Maryel Epps, sang Amazing Grace.  It included these words,

   Through many dangers, toils,  and snares
   I have already come, 
'Tis grace has brought me      
                              safe thus far,
                              and grace will lead me home.

     We're missing you, Ms. Reno.  May the grace be with you (and with us as well).  Thanks for exemplifying the ideals and skills we will need to get through the days ahead.

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