Speech for Inaugural Event!
(Written by Michael Steltzer – Held by Nancy Green)
· Wecome and greetings fellow Americans!
· Welcome and Greetings dear Friends!
· Welcome and Greetings dear fellow Democrats.
What an historical day!
Barack Obama has become our 44 President!
· Thank you all for coming and participating in our Inaugural Celebration here in Berlin.
· Thank you Corbett Santana, our Master of Ceremonies, for making this Event possible at this beautiful location – the GOYA.
· Thank you co-hosts of this Event for investing your time and your energy.
· Thank you volunteers and assistants for the great decoration, assisting the press with their work and escorting our special guests.
· And thank you in advance to the great Band "Folkadelics" whom you will hear and dance to later.
It was a long journey and a hard fought battle in order for Barack, Michelle and their two daughters (NAMES) to be able to move into the White House.
As you probably know the White House was built by slaves from Africa. But many people don't know that. We have now come full circle in this time for reconciliation with our history. We can look forward to an era of unity and common cause in order to solve the tremendous problems we are faced with. We are proving, that we can reach across the barriers of political bias , across the walls of racial discrimination, across the prejudice of gender division, and across the deep wounds of unjust oppression. We are learning, that the values and goals that unite are more important than the differences that divide. This inaugural Event for Barack Obama here in Berlin is also a small symbol for that kind of unity.
As Democrats Abroad we have never co-sponsored an Event with Republicans Abroad. Even though there aren't so many of them here in Berlin it is the political gesture of working together that is important. The common denominator is: we are Americans first.
Democrats Abroad has never co-sponsored an Event with the US Embassy. We see this as a positive sign, that working together is a fruitful and effective way of uniting the American Community here in Berlin.
American Voices Abroad Berlin has inspired Americans in our city for peace and democratic freedoms in a time when Iraq War and the Patriot Act reduced the respect of many for the politics of our country. Perhaps that necessary era of Protest will evolve into the Era of constructive development and participation.
The Museum "The Kennedys" on Pariser Platz in the heart of the City helps to uphold the Friendship between Berlin and the US by documenting the Legacy of John F. Kennedy and his Family. If you haven't been there "you are not a Berliner".
Berlin is an Obama City. He chose Berlin as his only stop abroad for a public speech knowing that Berliners have always been friends of the United States. Nowhere in the world were there so many people on the street to meet him. More than 220,000 gathered on July 24th and became part of the Obama Tsunami. During that event Democrats Abroad were able to register more than 350 Americans to vote.
Berlin was also the location of the largest election night partys outside of the country, with 3 different Parties each having more than 1000 guests.
And this event here at the GOYA is also the largest inaugural event outside of the USA.
And I am sure that we would greet him again should he visit our City in April of this year.
Perhaps a small historical note. Around the turn of the last century the area south of Nollendorfplatz was frequented by Americans and was called "The ‘Distict of Columbia" or also "The American Quarter". Here on the grounds of the GOYA once stood the American Church until it was destroyed in the 2nd world war. So we meet again on the grounds where Americans were meeting more than 100 years ago … and it had to do with Washington DC!
The job of Democrats Abroad will change during the next years of the Obama Presidency. We will not be a party of protest, although we know that "Hope" and "Change" will still be on the Agenda. "Be the Change" is one of the official slogans of the inauguration committee. That is a clear call to action and responsibility.
We all know, that change doesn't happen overnight. A world financial crisis, two wars, a planet in peril make the conditions for change even more difficult. But we should not dispair. We know that Impatience leads to frustration and frustration leads to accusation and demoralization. If we do not have patience, then 100 days after the inauguration the "Ratings" for Obama will turn sour. If we all do our share and keep our vision clear we can help ourselves and help Barack Obama implement his programs.
· It will take some time before Guantanamo is closed.
· It will take some time before the troops are out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
· It will take some time before our dependency on Oil has been significantly reduced.
· It will take some time before our people have jobs, universal health care and an economy which is running again.
Be the Change and don't lose your patience.
There will be a lot of discussion and much compromise necessary in order to facilitate these necessary changes. Let us stay united, and get that discussion going.
We should also use this discussion in order to reach out to some of our German friends, who still are very opposed to American politics. Anti-American sentiment has grown the past 8 years in Germany. It is not hard to figure out why. But it is time to win back the hearts and minds of our German friends and heal the wounds of Anti-Americanism. We have a better chance to do that now with Barack Obama as President.
I would like to thank all of you out there who helped to get Barack Obama into the White House. Yes you did make a difference! Now it is up to us to utilize this great opportunity. That is what this election was about. Our work must continue.
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to show you all a special message of thanks from Howard Dean, who was Chair of the Democratic National Committee for the past 4 years,.
I wish us all a wonderful inaugural evening!