It takes a lot for a speech to move me to tears, but as I watched our beloved President Obama’s farewell address I couldn’t stop the waterworks.
I remember when Obama was inaugurated. I was still in Elementary School at the time and didn’t quite understand the significance of his election but regardless, I was so excited. Several of my close classmates inspired my excitement as they too were thrilled to finally live in a country where the president shared the same ethnic background as them. We couldn’t stop talking about it. Of course, I knew President Obama was the first black president and I DID think it was really cool; however, I didn’t understand the nuances in the importance and the struggles that he would have to face as America’s first black president.
Throughout both campaigns and his presidency, Obama has endured tremendous amounts of racism, handled uncooperative opponents in Congress, and did his best to help make decisions to benefit the well-being of all types of Americans. Despite his hair becoming gray from stress, he dealt with everything that came his was with integrity, selflessness, grace, and a sort of calming power. I’m not quite sure how to explain it but I trust Obama. I know that he worked hard to advocate for me, my family, my peers, and for all other american citizens on both domestic and international fronts. Although highly controversial, ObamaCare helped more of my friends than I can count on my fingers and toes to gain access to cheap, life changing healthcare.
Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel for Obama.
Last night as my mom and I watched his final address, I couldn’t help but think back to the past eight years we’ve marveled at the first family, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and of course, Bo. Michelle became a powerful voice in the feminist community and encouraged young women, including myself, to demand what is ours, claim our education, and achieve success through hard work and independence, all with grace, class, and style. Malia and Sasha grew up right along with me and discovered their personal identities as I did. And of course Bo, the Obamas’ dog, always brought a smile to the face of America. Because who doesn’t love a puppy?
As President Obama’s farewell speech came to a close, he reminded us of three very important words.
“Yes we can.”
Obama’s original campaign slogan that gave hope to so many Americans regardless of their status. This phrase was shouted from every corner of American soil, at home and abroad, as Obama won the most overwhelming majority of votes. This phrase has brought us all together in so many ways over the past eight years. I will truly miss having the Obama family in the White House although I know that they will continue to stand amongst us with every trial we will face. Under the Obama presidency, I have never been more proud to be an American.
As we step into this next chapter of American history let’s all remember:
Yes we can. Yes we did.
Until next post,