I rise today to offer a formal and heartfelt apology to all the victims of lynching in our history, and for the failure of the United States Senate to take action when action was most needed.
I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have ? life itself.