be taking with me some of the men and women I met along the way, Americans from every corner of this country, whose hopes and heartaches were the core of our cause; whose dreams and struggles have become my own.
Theirs are the voices I will carry with me every day in the White House. Theirs are the stories I will be thinking of when we deliver the changes you elected me to make. When Americans are returning to work and sleeping easier at night knowing their jobs are secure, I will be thinking of people like Mark Dowell, who’s worried his job at Ford will be the next one cut, a devastating prospect with the teenage daughters he has back home.
When affordable health care is no longer something we hope for, but something we can count on, I will be thinking of working moms like Shandra Jackson, who was diagnosed with an illness, and is now burdened with higher medical bills on top of child care for her eleven year-old son.
When we are welcoming back our loved ones from a war in Iraq that we’ve brought to an end, I will be thinking of our brave servicemen and women sacrificing around the world, of veterans like Tony Fischer, who served two tours in Iraq, and all those returning home, unable to find a job.
These are the stories that will drive me in the days ahead. They are different stories, told by men and women whose journeys may seem separate. And yet, what you showed me time and again is that no matter who we are or what we look like, no matter where we come from or what faith we practice, we are a people of common hopes and common dreams, who ask only for what was promised us as Americans – that we might make of our lives what we will and see our children climb higher than we did.
We recognize that such enormous challenges will not be solved quickly. There will be false starts and setbacks, frustrations and disappointments. And we will be called to show patience even as we act with fierce urgency.
But we should never forget that we are the heirs of that first band of patriots, ordinary men and women who refused to give up when it all seemed so improbable; and who somehow believed that they had the power to make the world anew. That is the spirit that we must reclaim today.
For the American Revolution did not end when British guns fell silent. It was never something to be won only on a battlefield or fulfilled only in our founding documents. It was not simply a struggle to break free from empire and declare independence. The American Revolution was – and remains – an ongoing struggle “in the minds and hearts of the people” to live up to our founding creed.
Starting now, let’s take up in our own lives the work of perfecting our union.
Let’s build a government that is responsible to the people, and