If you are looking for a place to complain, this isn't it.
This is the place for builders; for doers; for those who know that Change depends on us. This place belongs to those who know that this nation was built by dreamers, by those folks who look for a better day, and brick by brick, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, built a nation. This place is for those who embrace Hope as a active verb.
This is the place for you.
In a moment, it was over.
But, really, it was just beginning.
Tuesday evening, November 4, 2008, at exactly 10pm CDT, at the moment the polls closed on the west coast, multiple news outlets declared Barack Obama elected the 44th President of the United States.
Was this real? We looked around, at each other, the stage, the cameras, at The Family, and everything told us this was real. We touched each other; yes, we were really here.
The swirl of the cameras, the lights, the peaceful November weather, all blending into this moment in history. And so were we. Exhaustion met exhilaration. The Dream, now, become reality.
Back in time; Springfield and the speech, Iowa, MInnesota, Washington,Pennsylvania, New Mexico, the debates, North Carolina, Indiana, fundraiser after fundraiser, trudging through the fields in the snow, all of these moments now becoming not recollections in our minds, but imprints on our hearts, which could never be erased.
Several hundred thousand people were in Grant Park, Chicago, listening to President-Elect Obama, swaying to the history around us. There, in the front, was Jesse Jackson. What was he thinking? He saw Dr. King assassinated; now he was witness to the miracle of this election.
We looked back on this all in awe. How did a small band of committed supporters create this? How did this happen?
We all came from different parts of the United States. We came from large cities, small cities, from political backgrounds steeped in tradition, from non political backgrounds with no tradition at all. We came from families of means, but mostly, families with no or little means.
We decided to stand. We stood for our children and grandchildren. We stood for a nation desperately needing healing. We stood for the powerless, those among us who could not stand nor speak for themselves. We came from all walks of life, religious beliefs, and ethnicities.
We joined together and we all acted on one belief.
In 2007 starting in February in Springfield, Illinois, through Chicago in November 2008, and now through the summer of 2010, we all act together as one, with one belief, one mantra.
We Stand For Hope & Change.
When this started, Barack Obama was joined by a small group of followers who believed, that together, we could forge a better path. Soon, thousands joined us; later, hundreds of thousands, then millions followed.
In November 2008 , you all knew the truth. Barack Obama could not make Change alone.
Now, we are all, with hands joined and hearts together in unity and common purpose, part of the effort to heal our nation. We continue to be a part of this movement to bring Change. We see Hope as a active verb.
The last year, together, you made Health Care a reality for 30 million uninsured Americans. You helped pull us back from financial collapse. You are ending one war and working towards ending another. You are poised to bring Financial Reform and Immigration, Don't Ask, and other core promises, into reality. It has taken a tremendous effort and each of you helped make these monumental changes happen.
You are making Change. You are helping to deliver the promise of November 2008.
So, here, in this place, we welcome you to this dialogue. Our business is simple; to continue this work, support our Pesident,and build a progressive tradition that embraces the best we each have to give.
What will be asked of you?
More of your time, your treasure, your hands, and your hearts. This effort will require us all to give more. This year, next, and the next. The challenge will continue; our opposition stands strong. Freedom, of course, must be reclaimed by every generation. So it is for us.
But, we face this future together. If you believe, like we do, that Change requires doing, not complaining, that Hope needs heart, not harping, we welcome you. If you feel that Change hasn't come quickly enough, we ask you to join us and help make it happen. All of us are needed to perfect our Union.
We will be here every Friday. We Hope you join us.
But for now, with you, We Stand For Hope and Change.
Happy July 4th, everyone.
Lou & Carol Frillman