Today was Dartmouth's commencement, and I confess that I have a soft spot for these occasions. The Class of 2006 was treated to blessedly cool weather and several fine speeches by valedictorian Rob Butts, President Jim Wright, and Elie Wiesel. Here was the part of Wiesel's speech that rang true and clear:
And this we better remember now for there exists a new or renewed scourge named fanaticism that afflicts contemporary events. In my life time, it has already produced collective humiliations and mass murder: political fanaticism in Moscow and racist fanaticism in Berlin. Both were defeated, one politically and the other militarily. But the 21st century is already threatened by a resurrected religious fanaticism of the Middle Ages. It grows in every religion, even in mine, and some of its practitioners on the other part, on the other side, some call themselves martyrs, forgetting that both in Judaism and Christianity a martyr is someone who dies for God, not someone who kills for God.
Congratulations and so long, Class of 2006.