Thank You, President Obama
This story was oringinally written for The Odyssey on Jan. 14 2017
I was in Fifth Grade during the 2008 Presidential Campaign. I don’t remember much about it at all, other than people mentioning that both you and your then opponent Hillary Clinton would be historic choices. I also remember your “Yes We Can” campaign posters. I don’t remember debates or election night itself. I don’t remember the reaction to your victory.
I do, however, remember being brought into our middle school auditorium one January afternoon. I was a much older and wiser sixth grader by this point. They had managed to fit the entire school into that auditorium to watch your inauguration. Children ages 9–14 piled into those seats, starting up at the projector in wonder. We had all grown up under President George W. Bush, but none of us really remembered him or knew anything about the world in those years. You were going to be our first President.
I’ve spent the past eight years of my life with you as my President. I’ve grown up watching you stand with this country through tragedy and triumph. I remember listening to your solemn remarks after far too many tragedies. You comforted the families of victims from Sandy Hook, San Bernadino, Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and far far far too many others. Your compassion and wisdom helped the country come together to grieve. You made us stronger. I remember the historic day when you announced that Osama Bin Laden could no longer do this country any harm thanks to the bravery of our military. I remember crying tears of joy on that historic day in 2015 when we finally achieved marriage equality. I’ve always been able to look up to you as a figure of good humor, hope and inspiration.
Your promises of change and progress continue to inspire me. Through you and so many others I saw the promise of government, one that represents everyone. I’ve been so inspired that I’m now studying Political Science at the very university where you were once a professor. I hope that I’m one day able to continue pushing forward a representative government that believes in fighting for every single citizen.
When I watched your Farewell Address address the other day I couldn’t hold back the tears. I’ve been so proud to be a citizen of the United States with you as my President. I promise that we will continue to fight and participate. We will not let our voices be silenced. Hope and progress will always win in the long run.
Thank you for these last eight years. God bless you and God Bless America.