Students and Colleagues,
Much has been said already by government and civic leaders to condemn the events that transpired at the U.S. Capitol last night. My own disdain, dismay and utter sadness at the disgraceful and violent insurrection echoes loudly with theirs and all of those angered and frightened by what will be remembered as a dark day in our nation’s history.
Winston Churchill is renowned for quoting an unknown source in a speech he gave in the House of Commons in 1947:
[I]t has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time; but there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, and that public opinion expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide, and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.
In spite of the division that has been stoked from the highest office in our nation for the past four years, I am confident that the values and ideals of our democracy will endure. As a community of scholars, we have a role in this legacy and a responsibility to take something from this moment. May we recommit ourselves to the highest level of integrity and compassion in our thoughts, words and actions; to seek truth in all that we do; to fight for inclusivity and justice; and to continue to seek God in all things. This is the foundation of our mission at Canisius.
The light and hope that we seek as we turn the page to a new year must not be stifled by the hatred and violence we have witnessed. We pray for our country today and a rededicate ourselves to build “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
I have also signed on to the statement released by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities that you can read here.
Very truly yours,
John J. Hurley, President