Barack Obama, with his trademark eloquence and dazzling smile, inspired those present to think big and to believe that things can change for the better.
Echoing Lincoln, JFK and Martin, he said:
I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness, a certain audacity, to this announcement. I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.Barack Obama spoke about how previous generations have brought change, including beating the British colonizers, ending slavery, lifting the country after the Great Depression, welcoming immigrants, and landing a man on the moon. He spoke about the need for a new politics--one that rebuilds the America's credibility in the world, that recognizes the danger of unchecked global warming and delivers universal health care coverage and ends the Iraq War.
Each and every time, a new generation has risen up and done what's needed to be done. Today we are called once more - and it is time for our generation to answer that call.
The life of a tall, gangly, self-made Springfield lawyer tells us that a different future is possible. He tells us that there is power in words. He tells us that there is power in conviction. That beneath all the differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people. He tells us that there is power in hope.
The crowd of thousands gathered in the frigid but sun-drenched square responded enthusiastically. People could be seen dancing and smiling as they stayed a while afterwards to enjoy the historic moment.
One young woman danced in the aisle with a "Barack the Vote!" sign.
Watching from the comfort of my home, I sensed that the people there knew that they were witnessing America take another step towards "The Dream." Hallelujah!!
(FYI: I viewed the annoucement on BarackTV at www.barackobama.com.)