Victory Speech

I keep reading and rereading the news today to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming. To make sure that the results stuck and to feel a sense of connection with the rest of the country and the world. I am in awe of the international reaction and feel a sense of America’s importance in a way I’ve never experienced. So many were looking to our nation to see what we would do. Many have commented that Obama, a single human being, does not bring change to America, it is a changing America that made Obama the President-elect. This is close to how I explained it to my boys.

I told them that America is growing up. She is learning to judge people by who they are and not just what they look like. She is learning to share and be kind to others. She appreciates intellectual conversation. Below is the part of Obama’s speech that resonated for me, especially when that huge crowd responded with "Yes we can." I called out too. Did you? Click for the entire transcript.

"This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She is a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election, except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons, because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin. And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America: the heartache and the hope, the struggle and the progress, the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed, yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the Dust Bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge inSelma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We shall overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the Moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there’s so much more to do. So tonight let us ask ourselves, if our children should live to see the next century, if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time — to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope; and where we are met with cynicism and doubt 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."

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