This article appeared in the October 25, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Elijah Cummings, Baltimore, and ‘The Lion King’

Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun/AP
Former Baltimore Raven Torrey Smith looks at the program at the funeral service for Rep. Elijah Cummings at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore on Oct. 25, 2019.

Our five stories today look at the evolution of Rudy Giuliani, how Lebanon's fractured society is uniting to fight corruption, the return of Peronism in Argentina, why a Houston Rockets tweet has challenged the morality of a business relationship with China, and a possible collision between three black holes.

First, I’d like to tell a story about Rep. Elijah Cummings, Baltimore, and “The Lion King.”

Representative Cummings’ funeral was today in Baltimore. He’ll be sorely missed in the city where he lived most of his life. Former President Barack Obama spoke. So did Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a fellow Baltimorean.

But in Baltimore almost everyone speaks of Elijah Cummings. I know this because I’ve lived there 20 years. Many people have a Representative Cummings story. They’ve met him in church or at a fundraiser. He spoke at their school. He’s a friend of a relative. 

Here’s one story: A year ago he spoke at the funeral of a civic leader from my neighborhood. He saw her grandchildren there and he told them that when he thought about their grandmother he thought about “The Lion King.”

“I’m a ‘Lion King’ junkie,” Representative Cummings said.

He said his favorite scene was when the young Simba cries out for his father. He hears this simple reply: “He lives in you.”

Their grandmother lives in them, he told the grandchildren. She lives “within all of us,” he said. And now it’s our job to pick up her baton and “make the world a better place ... and she will look down, and say, well done.” 

Well done, sir. Well done.

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This article appeared in the October 25, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 10/25 edition