Monday, May 30, 2016

Honoring those who paid the ultimate price! Memorial Day

Every year on Memorial Day, the president of the United States delivers remarks to honor the fallen. This year, in memory of the Black women and men who have been killed by state-sanctioned violence, I put together the president's own words to honor their sacrifice as well.

The words below were chosen and edited entirely from President Obama's Memorial Day speeches and arranged in chronological order from 2009 to 2014. Although the president often spoke of soldiers who had fallen in war, too many of our young people and adults have become casualties of another dangerous war in our own homeland. They, too, deserve a memorial.

President Obama's Remarks on Memorial Day

"We've gathered here in moments of war, when the somber notes of Taps echo through the trees, and fresh grief lingers in the air.

"Today is one of those moments, where we pay tribute to those who forged our history, but hold closely the memory of those so recently lost. And even as we gather here this morning, all across America, people are pausing to remember, to mourn, and to pray.

"With each death, we are heartbroken. With each death, we grow more determined ... But it reminds us all the meaning of valor; it reminds us all of our own obligations to one another; it recounts that most precious aspect of our history, and tells us that we will only rise or fall together.

"As you summon the strength to carry on each day, know that you’re not alone, and that America will always be at your side.

"To those of you who mourn the loss of a loved one today, my heart goes out to you. I love my daughters more than anything in the world, and I cannot imagine losing them. I can’t imagine losing a sister or brother or parent at war. The grief so many of you carry in your hearts is a grief I cannot fully know.

"It’s natural, when we lose someone we care about, to ask why it had to be them. Why my son, why my sister, why my friend, why not me? These are questions that cannot be answered by us.

"As a country, all of us can and should ask ourselves how we can help you shoulder a burden that nobody should have to bear alone ... One thing we can do is remember these heroes as you remember them ... as Americans, often far too young, who were guided by a deep and abiding love for their families.

"And finally, for all of you who carry a special weight on your heart, we can strive to be a nation worthy of your sacrifice. A nation that is fair and equal, peaceful and free. A nation that weighs the cost of every human life. A nation where all of us meet our obligations to one another, and to this country that we love. That’s what we can do.

"America stands at a crossroads. But even as we turn the page on a decade of conflict, even as we look forward, let us never forget, as we gather here today, that our nation is still at war ... Today most Americans are not directly touched by war. As a consequence, not all Americans may always see or fully grasp the depth of sacrifice, the profound costs that are made.

"This ceremony marks another page in the life of our nation ... Today, in small towns across America, in cemeteries throughout our country and around the world, and here on these solemn hillsides, the families of our fallen share stories of the lives they led. Our hearts ache in their absence. But our hearts are also full — full in knowing that their legacy shines bright in the people that they loved the most.

"Through almost unimaginable loss, these families of the fallen have tapped a courage and resolve that many of us will never know. And we draw comfort and strength from their example ... These Americans have done their duty. They ask nothing more than that our country does ours — now and for decades to come."

Monday, May 16, 2016

Prince Investigation: Warrant Names Doctor Treating Star Before Death

Minnesota police investigating the death of Prince served a search warrant on a doctor who had seen him twice, prescribed him medication and showed up at Paisley Park to deliver test results only to learn the singer was dead, according to court documents.
The papers do not say why the 57-year-old star was seeing Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, what drugs he was prescribed or whether he ever picked them up at Walgreen's. Prince was reportedly seen at a local Walgreen's in the days before his death, but the drug giant has declined comment.
The search warrant affidavit details two doctor's visits — one on April 7, which was a week before Prince was taken unconscious off a plane in Moline, Illinois; and another on April 20, which was one day before his death.
"Some tests were performed on Prince and Dr. [Schulenberg] was dropping off the test results to Prince at Paisley Park when he appeared on the death scene," the document says.
The warrant — which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times — sought all medical records relating to Prince from North Memorial Medical Center, where Schulenberg worked.
Efforts to reach Schulenberg since Saturday were unsuccessful. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment. North Memorial Medical Center said he no longer works there but would not comment further.
The court papers add new detail to the emerging picture of Prince's health problems.
An addiction expert in California previously confirmed through his attorney that he was contacted April 20 by a Prince representative who wanted him to meet the "Purple Rain" star.
That doctor, Howard Kornfeld of Recovery Without Walls, sent his son Andrew, who is not a physician, to meet Prince for what he viewed as a "lifesaving mission," according to the Kornfelds' lawyer, William Mauzy.
When the son got to Paisley Park the morning of April 21, he and two staffers found the artist unresponsive in an elevator, Mauzy said at a press conference last week.
When he went to see Prince, Andrew Kornfeld was carrying buprenorphine, which is sometimes used to help opioid addicts withdraw from painkillers, Mauzy said.
The lawyer said the younger Kornfeld planned to give it to a local physician — apparently not Schulenberg — who had agreed to see Prince that morning. That doctor has not been identified.
An autopsy has been performed on Prince but no cause of death has been released, pending toxicology tests.
The affidavit filed in Hennepin County also notes that one of Prince's confidantes, Kirk Johnson, told detectives that the singer had gone to a clinic in 2014 or 2015 and "received fluids during his visit." No other details were provided, and Johnson has not responded to numerous inquiries from NBC News.
Carver County sheriff's detectives went back to Paisley Park Tuesday. The sheriff's office said detectives were "revisiting the scene at Paisley Park as a component of a complete investigation" and did not release any additional information