Everyone with a heart, anyway.
When President Barack Obama took the stage at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center to say his goodbyes on Tuesday night, he wasn’t the only one who couldn’t get through his speech without shedding a few tears.
You could practically hear people sniffling all across the country as Obama choked up while thanking his wife and daughters, his staff, and his friend and vice president, Joe Biden. Inside the hall, the crowd of more than 18,000 people waved flags, pounded bleachers, and openly wept during Obama’s last address to the nation as president.
He spoke about his political journey, which got its start in Chicago. “It was on these streets where I witnessed the power of faith, and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss. This is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.”
He told his wife, Michelle, he was proud of her. “You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humor. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model.”
And to a nation anxious about what the next four years will bring – living under a president with no political experience and a history of sexually harassing women, who has vowed to reverse much of the progress Obama has made – he offered these words of hope and encouragement:
“My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain. For now, whether you’re young or young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your President – the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago.
“I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours.
“I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written:
“Yes We Can.
“Yes We Did.
“Yes We Can.”
Image via Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.com.
Comment: What will you miss most about President Obama?