At the Capitol and in Tucson, well-wishers left flowers outside the offices of Gabrielle Giffords, the Congresswoman who was viciously gunned down last Saturday. The scenes reminded me of similar ones in the wake of past tragedies, like the thousands upon thousands of bouquets left at Kensington and Buckingham Palaces after Princess Diana's death. I also thought of the poignant roadside memorials for young people killed in auto accidents, usually marked with flowers as well as childhood memorabilia.
I find such communal outpourings moving. The delicate blooms suggest the beauty and fragility of life. And at times such as these, when I question the very nature of the society I live in, they give me hope that most people are motivated by love rather than hate.