Roe is overturned.
June 24, 2022 is a day to mark, to etch into memory, a day to cry out in joy and celebration. A great injustice has been righted. Gather with your children, your grandchildren, with all those who with the Psalmist sing, “exsultate Deo, adjutori nostro, jubilate Deo Jacob . . . insigni die solemnitatis vestrae.” Rejoice in God our helper, sing aloud to the God of Jacob . . . even on our solemn feast day.
It is a day to praise those stalwart men and women who kept faith, for half a century kept faith, and who today might cite the words of the poet, “now the great vision which we dared believe through slow and savage years is our own.”
It is also a day to mourn. Tens of millions lost. Millions who were in no way less than we now are: human persons, deserving life and justice. And they are gone, never to see this day and join our songs of deliverance. And we mourn with those whose children are lost and who grieve their choice, those whom today may remind of what could have been and never shall be.
Start your day with Public DiscourseSign up and get our daily essays sent straight to your inbox.
We grieve for those deceived. Those who experience today as a day of sorrow or rage. Those deceived by a great lie. Those who fear their freedom and lives are lessened. These, too, deserve justice, need our compassion and care.
We grieve that our great struggle is not over. Mourn that a day of celebration turns tomorrow again to ceaseless effort and prayer. We mourn that our children do not today inherit the end of struggle but are yoked to the burden in still another form. How long?
Perhaps today is simply a day to weep, in both joy and sorrow. A day such as our greatest statesman knew and soberly marked:
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves. . .