Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Call to Service

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 4:31 pm
A Call to Service
The President has just signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, joined by Senator Kennedy, President Bill Clinton, the Congressional leaders who supported the legislation, and countless others dedicated to passage of the bill at the SEED School, where service is a core part of the curriculum. Appropriately, the President announced a major call to service:

A week from tomorrow marks the 100th day of my administration. In those next eight days, I ask every American to make an enduring commitment to serving your community and your country in whatever way you can. Visit WhiteHouse.gov to share your stories of service and success. And together, we will measure our progress not just in number of hours served or volunteers mobilized – but in the impact our efforts have on the life of this nation.

Find the right opportunity for you, or tell us your story of service – then come back in the coming days and weeks and we will highlight some of the best of what we hear.

He spoke to Senator Kennedy, and his entire family, commending them as an icon of service and self-sacrifice in America. He spoke to Republican Senator Orrin Hatch for his role in conceiving of the bill. And he spoke to those in Chicago who taught him the virtues of service as a community organizer.

He spoke to the youth, and all those who are already engaged:

I’ve met countless people of all ages and walks of life who want nothing more than to do their part. I’ve seen a rising generation of young people work and volunteer and turn out in record numbers. They’re a generation that came of age amidst the horrors of 9/11 and Katrina; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; an economic crisis without precedent. And yet despite all this, or more likely because of it, they have become a generation of activists possessed with that most American of ideas – that people who love their country can change it.

He spoke to those who are not yet engaged:

It’s as simple as that. All that’s required on your part is a willingness to make a difference. That is, after all, the beauty of service. Anyone can do it. You don’t need to be a community organizer, or a Senator -- or a Kennedy – or even a President to bring change to people’s lives.

And he spoke to the larger moment our country faces:

We need your service, right now, at this moment in history. I’m not going to tell you what your role should be; that’s for you to discover. But I’m asking you to stand up and play your part. I’m asking you to help change history’s course. Put your shoulder up against the wheel. And if you do, I promise you – your life will be richer, our country will be stronger, and someday, years from now, you may remember it as the moment when your own story and the American story converged, when they came together, and we met the challenges of our new century.

As the President explained, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act is about "connecting deeds to needs" – it will open tremendous new avenues of opportunity for Americans to help their country get back on the right track in those many areas where government cannot do it all.

Get involved, and let us know what you’re doing.


  1. I saw young people behind me, say about 10-15 years behind me, become narcissi beast. They moved with mindset, to be Hedgefund masters of the universe. That getting ahead by any cost was all that mattered.

    I now see within many of the late teens to 20 somethings of this day in America. A desire to be better than those who went before them. We owe it to them to give them better tools of education, a means to give back, health insurance to maintain their safety.

    Let us hope that tomorrow, in Iowa, Obama speaks of a sustainably energy program. One where the words clean coal are not exspoused.

    Today at long last, the door for prosecution for some of the people in the Bush administration that order war crimes has cracked opened again. Justice for the sake of national and international healing must be pursured. Yes, I realize this is a pandora box for the politics of America.

    Time is short for the globe, sustainable ecological means must be accomplished. Only motions of good faith can hope to position America to lead at Copenhagen.

    The Wall Street fiasco, the wars, crime and terrorism are sadly mute issues compared to the climate reality we face.

    Oddly, I have a small amount of hope. That today's children will at least be fighting on the side of Gaia as the final curtain call for this act called humanity is launched.

    Will there be an enchoir.

  2. Obama spoke in Newton Iowa today. I was impressed that when Climate Change came up it took several minutes of the speech to address. It is normally just mentioned and brushed aside. He did a great job in trying to convince people how serious this issue is.

    There were two rounds of applause during this part of the speech, that impressed me as well. He did mention clean coal, this comes as no surprise. However it was not heavily focused upon. I would have a problem with coal even if they could burn it 100 percent cleanly. It is a natural disaster to mine and devastates the environment from that perspective.

    Over all however, in the past few days. President Obama, who for me had gone down to a C minus, has regained ground and is back to a B plus.