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Comparative Analysis: Speeches of Healing

The theme of these three speeches is healing which also falls into the category of Eulogy. Three speeches were all done by three different presidents under very different historical periods. They all strategically connect the loss to a more personal level by picturing an image with a greater meaning. They all seek God of comfort and God of righteousness. They emphasized the fact that people have been supportive of each other within their communities. This message will help communities continue to help each other to heal. Three speeches all have lots of focus on next generation or the children, and talking about children usually evoke for a greater shared responsibilities and sympathy as well (this is where most Pathos is built upon). Finally, all three speeches have very distinctive closings.


Rubric Standards President Obama at Sandy Hook Prayer Vigil President Reagan’s Challenger Disaster Speech President Clinton on Oklahoma City Bombing
Understand the context Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is the seventh-deadliest school massacre by death toll (27 killed). What makes it worse is that the murder of many young children. Challenger’s explosion was a nationally broadcasted disaster. What makes it worse is that a teacher was selected to become the astronaut and millions of children were watching. This speech was the transitional moment of Clinton’s presidency.

The day before, Clinton answers question “I’m relevant. The Constitution gives me relevance.”

Remembering Oklahoma City, and How Bill Clinton Saved His Presidency

Ideas Care for children

Obama’s responsibility to make change

Continue the scientific exploration of the outer space Give hope to “justice,” stands against violence and hatred
Organization Start with condolences

Followed by how the community has come together

Present his role as the president

Tie everything together with reference to God and Children

Powerful closing with listing all the names

Addressing the sad news

Emphasis the faith he has in the space program

Address how would a school children feel and

Close with putting this act of courage into a historical courage, and look forward to the future

Start with condolences

Followed by how communities in Oklahoma city come together and set an example for the U.S.

Close with meeting with a little girl

Start the process of healing

Voice  / Delivery Representing Obama’s identity of hope Sad, slow, full of hope, lots of faith calm
Word Choice Simple word Straightforward Straightforward
Sentences flow Great use of series of rhetorical questions to encourage the audience to think:

“Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave”

Sentences encourage young scientists, students, and educators continue to believe in themselves  move forward

Strong ending addressing directly to American people:

“My fellow Americans, a tree takes a long time to grow, and wounds take a long time to heal. But we must begin. Those who are lost now belong to God. Someday we will be with them. But until that happens, their legacy must be our lives.”

Pathos/ Ethos/ Logos Mainly pathos

“The warmth of a small child’s embrace”

Ethos established because he is the president

Strong logos Not necessarily strong Ethos because of Clinton’s comment the day before


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