Crossing lines, breaking barriers, Obama brings change to America (Second Lead)November 5th, 2008 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS
Chicago, Nov 5 (IANS) In a fitting finale to an epic battle to break the racial barrier, Barack Obama, the man who would be America’s first black president, delivered a stirring message of change with a call for unity at a defining moment.”If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer,” he said at a midnight victory rally at Chicago’s Grant Park.
“It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled,” he told an ocean of people in front of him stretching far into the Chicago night soon after his Republican rival John McCain conceded defeat.
“Americans sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red (Republican) states and blue (Democratic) states,” said Obama with a row of US flags fluttering behind him. “We are, and always will be, the United States of America.”
“It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.”
“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America,” the president elect of the US declared as the crowd chanted “yes we can” and “yes we did”.
“But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you,” said Obama recalling how the extraordinary journey of a “never the likeliest candidate for this office” grew from strength to strength with support from people across the board.
“This is your victory,” he proclaimed. “And I know you didn’t do this just to win an election. And I know you didn’t do it for me.”
“You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century,” Obama declared.
“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there,” said Obama. “I promise you, we as a people will get there.”
“This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were,” he said. “It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.”
Turning to the world at large, Obama said: “And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.”
“Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.
“That’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
“And where we are met with cynicism and doubts 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,” concluded Obama as the crowd erupted again in a joyous celebration with cries of “Yes, we did”.