Thank You President Obama!

The year was 2008. And I was in the 4th grade. President Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States and the first African American into office. Post-election, I recall the glee and excitement at my middle school. Parents were happily discussing the historic nature of that night with their children. Student council officers quoted slogans from Pres. Obama’s campaign. Students drew murals and versions of his “Hope” poster. And I hoped to someday have an accomplishment similar to that of the president.

Now eight years and two terms have passed. I will always remember his charismatic speeches of his hopes in building a more unified country, his kind and collected character, and his strong commitment to his family. The Obama family represents an idealized and loving model that set them apart from other presidential families. Depending on whom you ask, he will have a controversial legacy. Love him, hate him — he will be remembered by his eminent accomplishments despite the epic political obstructionism that he faced and the bad shape of the economy that he had inherited.

In his first year, President Obama passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which cut taxes and invested in unemployed workers. As a result, it created economic growth in the middle of the greatest recession since the Great Depression, and according to Washington monthly, it produced 3.7 million jobs in the private-sector for 23 straight months. And to prevent this economic crisis from happening again, he signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. This brought stronger federal management of America’s financial sector that tightened regulations and accounted institutions for their failures.

He also ended the war in Iraq, a conflict that costed $4.4 trillion, led to the creation of ISIS, and took the lives of over 4,000 U.S. servicemen. By halting it, our country saved time, money, and American lives. His administration was also responsible for bringing justice: he authorized the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, his presidency will be recognized for finally bringing equal opportunities for both women and the LGBT community in the military. Our defense was not watered-down; it became more inclusive. Finally, he truly took care of our veterans at home. He increased funding for the Veterans Administration, launched housing initiatives for the homeless, and brought more employment opportunities to the unemployed.

As I head into college, I cannot wait to hear my peers’ opinions of this president and read what the history books have written for him. Nonetheless, as a millennial and the son of a military veteran, I thank him for everything he has done.