“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible…tonight is your answer.”
“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.”
“And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.”
“I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.”
“To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our 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. ”
“…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.”
– President-elect Barack Obama, Chicago, November 4, 2008
President-elect Obama’s words and sentiments remind me those crafted by a small team assembled under Eli Segal to bring President-elect Clinton’s vision for national service to life:
The AmeriCorps Pledge
I will get things done for America –
to make our people safer,
smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together
to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy,
I will take action.
Faced with conflict,
I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity,
I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment
with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member,
and I will get things done.