President Obama’s Address to the Troops at Home at War’s End (12-14-2011)

The Commander-in-Chief spoke to his returning veterans of the war in Iraq today (12-14-2011). His was a formal “Ceremonial Address”. His task to speak words over the men and women who had the lethal and dirty work to pacify insurgent forces attempting to take over control after the demise of a dictator. He detailed the job they did. He detailed the effects of their work, for Iraquis, for the United States. He described what the military had earned. He acknowledged what the dependents of those military volunteers had suffered on the home front.

The President covered every point of honor going to each participant following a successful engagement. Well done!

The President was eloquent.

I could imagine seeing any one of the other aspirants to the Presidency in that ceremonial role. I could not see them achieving the same fluency, an equal quality of voice, the comprehensive enumeration of facets of the accomplishments from our involvement in that war.

I finished listening thinking of one more step I might have added. I think he had set up this possible statement in my imagination:
“Now, many of you who separate from your service will walk out among the citizens of this great nation. You have behind you a record of valor and honor, with the full force of your memories of the armed violence you have been submitted to. Turn that fire storm into the clean and quiet atmosphere of peace, knowing you carry inside you the memories from which stems your concept of the courageous being you have become through your ordeal. You will say to yourself, ‘I did it! I am a truly good human being, and will carry that honor with me throughout my life, and no one can ever take that away from me. I am forever marked as a good and honorable citizen. I carry now in my mind that self-pride into what ever work I will have hereafter. In my heart beats a calm and soothing knowing, a rhythm put there by a job I have done well. Few of those in the crowds will ever have that special knowledge. I can do it!'”

The rest of us citizens who watched that ceremony today can also say, “We did it!” And we can think that the United States spearheaded a resistance against a dictatorial power, which all democracies must do. The United States should have earned some gratitude for modeling world citizenship, and the acts of responsibility that entails.

The President made a fine and eloquent ceremonial speech in the best of contexts today. I do not believe someone else could have done it better. It would be best for the United States if we could all want that kind of performance from the President to be continued. Not one of those now running for the Presidency could have done as well.

The First Lady, Michelle Obama, preceded the President with a speech of introduction that also attained a very high level of fluency. I do not recall an instance of a First Lady being so involved in a high level speaking situation. Was her performance unprecidented? I think so.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

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