I have seen many wonders of the world, I have experience a lot of amazing things and I have so many wonderful memories of the last ten months I have spent abroad but seeing President Obama speak in Dublin earlier this week is one of the best things I have done ever.
It was announced earlier this year that President Obama would be making a short (one day) visit to Ireland as his ancestry had been traced back to Ireland (his great, great grandfather was born here) and he wanted to visit the place where his ancestors were from. From the moment it was announced, I was excited.
I remember seeing President Obama on the Oprah show, long before he was President. I remember watching him as he made his way up through the ranks and campaigned. I remember wanting Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic seat as I wanted a woman to become President (duh!) but I remember feeling confidant that Obama would win once he won that seat. I remember when he was elected and feeling like some good change was going to happen now that the Democrats were back in power. A few weeks ago, I woke up to find out that Osama Bin Ladden had been killed and I lounged in my house, watching the news footage and tearing up while listening to President Obama’s powerful speech.
From the moment the Queen left Dublin on Friday, the town switched gears and started preparing for President Obama and Michelle’s visit. Unlike the Queen, whose visit had mixed reviews, it was clear that the entire city was excited for the Obama’s. On Monday, I trekked into town and met town of my friends, Naomi and Kristy, and we headed off to see Obama, along with 60,000 other people! We waited in line for hours, got searched by the secret service and eventually made it near(ish) the platform. We did not even get a good view, or even see him in person. Instead, we stood on the streets, watching a big screen. It was SO exciting! The Taoiseach (Prime Minster)introduced President Obama and the crowds roared as President Obaba took to the stage. President Obama’s speech talked a lot about the Irish-American connection, about how many American’s roots are Irish and about the similarities of the two countries. It was a good speech. I was really impressed by the easy and confidant manner in which President Obama delivered his speech. He is very captivating and really seems passionate about his country and about the message he was delivering. He ended his speech with a his belief that Ireland will overcome its struggles and used his famous slogan “Yes We Can”.
The crowds were insane!
The day was long but it was so much fun to feel like I was witnessing history. To be in the presence of one of the most important and influential people today. Seriously. So. Neat. I loved every moment of it! A perfect way to cap off my time in Ireland.