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Helen Joanne "Jo" Cox was a highly respected and loved member of Parliament representing the British Labour Party and Yorkshire, where she was born. On June 16, 2016, Cox was shot and stabbed multiple times in Birstall. A 52-year-old man, with a history of mental illness and links to far-right extremism, was charged with her murder and will stand trial under terrorism protocols. Jo Cox would have been 42 years old on June 22nd.
President Obama wrote his condolences to the family of Jo Cox and her fellow citizens. I copy it in it's entirety below:
"Today, people on both sides of the Atlantic are coming together to honor the remarkable life of Jo Cox. I did not have the privilege of knowing her. But I know ...the spirit that defined her life. When I first ran for President, she came to America and volunteered on my campaign. She gave her time and passion to a country that was not her own because she believed in an idea that transcends borders and cultures - the power of people to bring about change, from the grassroots up.
She later described being in North Carolina on election night watching an elderly African American grandmother holding her granddaughter on her knees. And through her tears, she told her granddaughter, "When I was your age they said we couldn't sit on the bus, now we're the President. We must never doubt how much things can change."
Jo knew that our politics, at its best, still works - that, if we recognize our humanity in each other, we can advance the social justice, human dignity and peace that we seek in the world.
Reflecting on a difficult time in university, she once said that it made her realize that it mattered where you were born, how you spoke and who you knew.
In her radiant life, Jo turned that truth on its head. She was such an effective public servant for her beloved Yorkshire because she was born there. She earned the respect of her colleagues in Parliament because she was unafraid to speak her mind. And countless women, children and refugees around the world live with more dignity and hope because they knew Jo Cox and were touched by her work on their behalf.
Today, we stand united - British, Americans and people around the world - to affirm that the hate and violence that took her from us are ultimately no match for the love and compassion that she spread in her life.
On behalf of the American people, I offer our deepest condolences to Jo's parents, sister, husband Brendan, son Cuillin and daughter Lejla. May these two young children, like all our children, never doubt how much things can change. With our help, may they grow up in a world of greater tolerance, justice and peace - a future that would make their mum proud."
--- President Obama