Obama Encourages Americans on his Farewell Address in Chicago

February 24, 2017
Julia NaWon Yoon University High School 10th Grade

Julia NaWon Yoon University High School 10th Grade

On January 9th, 2017, former president of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama, gave a farewell address to Americans in Chicago.

Throughout the speech, Obama mentioned how most of the aspects of the United States had been improved than it was eight years ago. In the beginning of his speech, he said, “If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history.” He used these three examples to mention how American has became a better country than it was before.

When he took his presidency in 2008, the United States was suffering an economic depression. Trying to overcome the difficulties, at the end of his presidency, the country defeated unemployment and economic failure. Then, he said, “But that’s what we did.? That’s what you did.?You were the change.?You answered people’s hopes, and because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.” Instead of taking everything to his presidency and his people, he rather turned everything to the people of the Untied States.

He added, “Not that our nation has been flawless from the start, but that we have shown the capacity to change, and make life better for those who follow.” He describes United States as a country that has an ability to get better continuously. Instead of just being satisfied with what we have and stop at one place, we continue to challenge ourselves. He said this is the characteristic of American trait and that it led United States to be a better country.

Obama also added, however, that Americans take democracy for granted. He said, “Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted.” He warned how democracy and solidarity of the people in our country are constantly being threatened. He mentioned how inequality and terrorism that are continuously digging deeper into our society. He said these problems that are rooted in our society can only be fixed through people’s participation and attention to politics. He claimed how these participation and choices that people make would give them power and eventually lead to a better democratic country. He added how this opportunity is not what we just get, but rather a gift that we earned.

Towards the end, Obama claimed that we should not forget those grateful moments and opportunities that we gained through fighting; all the ideas and justice that led us to our current situation should not be forgotten. He also expressed, once again, that everything that Untied States had accomplished had come from the people, and that people should believe in that.

At the end of the speech, he took his usual phrase “Yes we can,” and changed it to “Yes we did,” to express how we as Americans achieved these accomplishments with our own power and beliefs and to encourage Americans to continue using their voice.

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