We apologize for not finding Congressman Griffith's message and posting it sooner. Even with four e-mail accounts, we miss a lot of things that are worth sharing, down at the back of the day's e-mail pile. We may miss more than ever during the holiday week ahead. U.S. readers have probably read Longfellow's poem before, but nobody can read this thought too often...
"As a father to three young children, I
was heartbroken upon hearing of the heinous, criminal act that took place Friday
morning in Newtown, Connecticut. No words can describe this senseless crime
that took the lives of many. As details of this tragedy continue to emerge, let
us give thanks for the school faculty, law enforcement officers, medical
personnel, and brave students who helped get people to safety.
western Virginia know all too well that senseless violence like this has no
place in our society. Any tragedy is difficult to understand, but especially
difficult to comprehend are those that impact young people. In the days and
weeks ahead, my family and I will continue praying for strength and comfort for
all those grieving, particularly for the victims’ families, whose lives will
never be the same.
This time last year, I wrote about American poet Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow and his poem Christmas Bells, but the poem and song
seem especially poignant this year after Friday’s tragedy in
After suffering through years of great despair following the
tragic loss of his wife and the injury of his son Charles in the War Between the
States, Longfellow wrote Christmas Bells, which was the basis for the
carol I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. This carol tells of its
narrator’s despair that “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth,
good will to men,” until he hears the ringing of the bells, which celebrate the
power of faith and offer great hope.
I heard the bells on Christmas
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words
Of peace on earth, good will to men...
And in despair I bowed
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and
mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good well to men.”
Then pealed the
bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to
Just like Longfellow, we have witnessed despair and evil, particularly over
this last week, but “God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!” As we mourn and yes,
cry, let us also celebrate the Christmas season, for this is the message that we
must remember: “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John
3:16).” From my family to yours, best wishes for a safe and merry Christmas.
In observance of Christmas there will not be a column next week, but as
always, if you have concerns or comments or wish to inquire about legislative
issues, feel free to contact my offices. You can call my Abingdon office at
276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via
email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov."