In December 2001, I sent this to my family and friends:
William Faulkner said this in his “Address Upon Receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature,” 10th December 1950:
“It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”
Is love included in this list? I think so, for it is love for humankind that enables that soul to rise to compassion and sacrifice and endurance, and it is that love that brings us together in the roughest and most difficult of times. Through these times, we will endure. And we will prevail. It won’t be easy, and it will require—no, demand—of us sacrifices that we haven’t even begun to think of yet. But through it all, we will endure and we will prevail… because we love.
In that spirit, I send you greetings as this unforgettable year draws to a close.
Let us never forget those we’ve lost… those who have been left behind to love us… those whose love made us who we are….
I hope these words will be of some meaning for you on this important day.