Final Hours of Obama's Presidency
Memory 10 [final hours]: President Barack Obama’s 2008 General Election Victory Speech “Change Has Come to America”
As we celebrate the last remaining hours of one of the most amazing presidents, a man who inspired the nation with his vision for hope and change. Let us hold on to some of his words spoken on that cold night November 4, 2008, in Grant Park (Chicago, Illinois).
Then President-elect Barack Obama stood for inclusion and spoke about a change where everyone would have a seat at the table. This is what we have to hold on to and not feel discouraged during the next 4 years no matter how the new administration tries to devalue our presence as women, minorities, LGBTQ, disabled, or a senior. President Obama fought hard and tirelessly to accomplish the agenda he put forward the American people prior to his victory speech that cold November night in 2008, despite not achieving all of his goals, his speech remains close to my heart.
Part way through, Obama said, “This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.”
For the majority of people struggling to deal with the reality of what will take place in the next few hours when the keys to the highest and most respected office in our nation are passed to Donald Trump, remember, we all have a responsibility. We should not allow him or his supporters the opportunity to divide us. This is a time where we must be involved at the local and state level to help facilitate changes made in our communities. We can also motivate change in the minds of lawmakers responsible for ensuring equality.
Although at times I want to give up on our government, I remember the trail that was paved by our ancestors who sacrificed so much which resulted in the eventual victory and nationwide support of our 44th President, Barack Obama and other future leaders.
So it’s time to fight for humanity and equal rights for all. We did not come this far to go backwards. We need to sit at the table and meet cynicism at the front door. There will be no hiding from the true issues that plague our country. In order for us to build something greater and live out the American dream I will accept President Obama’s challenge from 2008 and his challenge spoken in his most recent farewell address.
Some of his last words “…And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”
Today we can cry and mourn. Tomorrow we get determined. For it will be a new day with unresolved issues at our door so we must be proactive and effective in our strategy, because as he mentioned in 2008, “…change has come to America.”