by Dan Gibson
From The Atlantic:
As he joined in, at times, with the applause, the president's hard, measured handclaps, too close to the microphone, drowned out everything else in my kitchen right then, and seemed to be tolling the passing of something else besides human lives. I don't know what. Maybe just my own sense of connectedness to the cheering people in that giant faraway room. I didn't feel like applauding right then, not even in celebration of the persistence and continuity of human life and American values. And then I was ashamed of my curmudgeonliness. Those people, after all, many of them college students, were in a sports arena; architecture gives shape to behavior and thought. Maybe if the service had been held in a church, things would have played differently.