• Edición impresa de Junio 7, 2016.

Reflections on the President’s visit


President Obama as he spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in a packed gymnasium at Concord High School, Dunlap, IN.


Julian Romero, student at Concord Westside Elementary School with Tim Tahara from Concord Community Schools.


Part of the crowd waiting to see and hear President Obama.  The group in the middle of the photo, some of whom are holding white cards, are some of the 50 or 60 high school students who served as volunteers.  They helped people find seats, directed foot traffic and even brought cups of cold water to the audience as they were waiting for the arrival of the president.

What a chance, to see a sitting president in real life!  Once long ago, in the last century, I saw Jimmy Carter when he campaigning to be elected president.  I hadn’t really thought too much about the presidential visit until my daughter said she had tickets and could we take our granddaughter as she, my daughter, was involved another part of the president’s visit.  Tito decided that his back couldn’t handle that much walking, but I said, “Sure, good opportunity to share a momentous moment with the grand kid”.  To be truthful after I said yes and thought about the time it might mean finding a parking spot, standing in line, waiting in the gymnasium, etc. I wondered if maybe I had been a bit hasty. But as I said, It was a chance to share a bit of history with my granddaughter.

It was a great experience!  The waiting went quickly as we were surrounded by people who were excited to be there.  The spirit of camaraderie was everywhere as people talked and shared their feelings about the event and President Obama.  I was impressed by the number children and youth who were there, some in school groups and some with families.  When Obama arrived the crowd gave him a rousing welcome with everyone clapping and on their feet. When he said he wasn’t here to be elected, as the law and his wife would not permit it, a voice from the crowd suggested he should try anyway.  Later another spectator shouted, “Michelle for president!”

President Obama has always impressed me whenever I have heard him and he did again this time.  His orderly description of what had been accomplished during his presidency and the ways things have improved since 2008 gave cause to reflect that the idea of ‘going back to the good old days’, might not be a desirable goal.  There was no shouting, loud accusations or name calling.  When a several persons started to boo at the mention of the ‘other’ party, Obama stopped and politely suggested that instead of booing we need to vote.

There were numerous times that listeners shouted agreement and encouragement and I can’t remember how many times we clapped and stood and clapped some more.  I must say that I did not think that I would see a black person elected president during my life time and to see that person re-elected has been evidence that the democratic process works even though there are still many glitches and errors.  An exciting thought was given to me as we were waiting in line and discussing these ideas.  Michele Fanfair-Steury said that to this generation of young people, a black president is the norm!  How exhilarating!!






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