17
Jun
13

A Message Of Hope

President Obama, the First Lady and their daughters Sasha and Malia are greeted by Joan Christie, the Queen’s official representative in Northern Ireland, upon their arrival at Belfast International Airport

****

President Obama and his wife Michelle, pictured with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

****

Snippets of Pres. Obama’s speech:

“Hello, Belfast. Hello, Northern Ireland. Well, now you know why it’s so difficult to speak after Michelle. She’s better than me.”

“I want to thank two men I’ve hosted at the White House on many a St Patrick’s Day for their warm welcome – First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.”

“I spend the whole year trying to unite Washington around something, and they come visit on St Patrick’s Day and do it in a single afternoon,” Mr Obama says.

Mr Obama said he only found out a few years ago that his great-great-great-grandfather was born in Ireland. “When I was first running for office in Chicago, I didn’t know this. I wish I had,” he said.

“But in Chicago, it worked out okay – they’d look at my last name and say, ‘oh, look, there’s an O’Bama from the homeland running on the South Side – but what kind of name is Barack?”

The president says that while in Moneygall, County Offaly, he met his eighth cousin, Henry, known affectionately as Henry the Eighth.

“America’s story, in part, began right outside the doors of this gleaming hall. 325 years ago, a ship set sail from the River Lagan for the Chesapeake Bay, filled with men and women who dreamed of building a new life in a new land.”

“They, followed by hundreds of thousands more, helped us write those early chapters. They helped us win our independence. They helped us draft our constitution.”

“Our histories are bound by blood and belief; by culture and commerce. And our futures are equally, inextricably bound together as well. That’s why I’ve come to Belfast today – to talk about the future we can build together.”

“Many of the qualities that we Americans hold dear we imported from this land, perseverance and faith, an unbending belief that we make our own destiny, and an unshakable dream that if we work hard and live responsibly, something better lies just around the bend.”

“You are the first generation in this land to inherit more than just hardened attitudes, but a just and hard-earned peace.”

“Belfast is a different city. Once-abandoned factories are rebuilt. Former industrial sites are reborn. Visitors come from all over to see an exhibit at the MAC, a play at the Lyric, or a concert here at Waterfront Hall,”

“Families crowd into pubs in the Cathedral Quarter to hear “trad”. Students lounge at cafés, asking each other, “What’s the craic?” (That made me chuckle :lol: )

“It has been 15 years since the Good Friday Agreement; since clenched fists gave way to outstretched hands; since the people of this island voted in overwhelming numbers to see past the scars of violence and mistrust, and choose to wage peace,”

“But as all of you know well, for all the strides you’ve made, there’s still much work to do. There are still people who haven’t reaped the rewards of peace; who aren’t convinced that the effort is worth it,”

There are still wounds that haven’t healed, and communities where tension and mistrust hangs in the air. There are walls that still stand; there are still many miles to go.”

“But that doesn’t mean our efforts to forge a real and lasting peace must come dropping slow. This work is as urgent now as it has ever been,”

Mr Obama says there are people living in conflict areas of the world who are looking to the Irish peace process for hope and inspiration. “You are their blueprint to follow. You are their proof of what’s possible. Hope is contagious, they are watching to see what you do next.”

“If towns remain divided – if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs; if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden – that too encourages division and discourages co-operation.”

Our Civil War was far shorter than the Troubles, but it killed hundreds of thousands of our people, and the legacy of slavery endured for generations. Even a century after we achieved our own just and lasting peace, we were not fully united.”

“When I was a boy, many cities still had separate drinking fountains and lunch counters and washrooms for blacks and whites. My own parents’ marriage would have been illegal in certain states.”

“Still, over time, laws changed, and so did hearts and minds, driven sometimes by courageous lawmakers, but more often by committed citizens,”

“Whether you take a stand against violence and hatred, and tell extremists on both sides that no matter how many times they attack the peace, they will not succeed, that’s in your hands. And whether you reach your own outstretched hand across dividing lines, across peace walls, to build trust in a spirit of respect. That’s up to you.”

“Whenever your peace is attacked, you will have to choose whether to respond with the same bravery you’ve summoned so far. You will have to choose whether to keep going, forward not backward.”

“And like I said when I visited two years ago, I am convinced that this little island, that inspires the biggest things – its best days are yet ahead,”

****

Teenager Hannah Nelson, who was the first to address the Waterfront Hall, says Mr Obama's speech "was very good, it's the thoughts of everybody, we just have to put it into practice".

Hannah Nelson (student who introduced First Lady Michelle Obama): “Peace is not easy and it takes a lot to make it happen.”

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*******


102 Responses to “A Message Of Hope”


  1. 1 donna dem 4 obama
    June 17, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Good Morning TOD

    • 2 Dudette
      June 17, 2013 at 6:16 am

      Good Morning Donna Dem. Congrats on First!
      Have a Scrumptuous Day!

      • 3 donna dem 4 obama
        June 17, 2013 at 6:42 am

        Thanks Dudette!
        I seem to have slept through the early morning activities. Thanks to you early risers and UT’s tweeting and recap I was able to catch up before work.. It appears our POTUS and FLOTUS were super fantastic this morning.

        You have a Scrumptious Day as well !

  2. 5 overseasgranny
    June 17, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I will post this here as well:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/michelle-obama-s-itinerary-while-in-ireland-1.1431604

    This morning, 8.35am: President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were scheduled to arrive at Aldergrove International Airport in Belfast.
    9.30am: Ms Obama scheduled to introduce the president at an event with local students at the Belfast Waterfront Convention Centre.
    11.25am: Ms Obama scheduled to arrive at Dublin Airport.
    12.25pm: Ms Obama to visit Trinity College Dublin and explore archives documenting the Obamas’ Irish ancestry.
    4:30pm: Ms Obama to meet staff and their families at the US embassy in Dublin.
    5pm: Ms Obama to join Irish youth for a special performance by the Riverdance company at the Gaiety Theatre. Sabina Higgins, wife of President Michael D Higgins, and Fionnuala Kenny, wife of the Taoiseach, will also attend. The first lady scheduled to deliver brief remarks before the performance.
    Tomorrow, mid-morning: Ms Obama to visit the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
    Evening: President Obama and first lady due to arrive at Tegel Airport in Berlin at 7.55pm.

  3. 9 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 6:16 am

  4. 10 anniebella
    June 17, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I’ve been up since about 3:30am, not it’s time for a quick nap. Proud of POTUS and FLOTUS.

  5. 14 amk for obama
    June 17, 2013 at 6:25 am

    There was a period I remember when bbc would use a voice-over when they showed martin mcguinness or jerry adams or any other ira leader speaking and I used to think how childishly ridiculous bbc looked.

  6. 15 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 6:27 am

  7. 17 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 6:28 am

    From UTV:
    “Off to Fermanagh/Dublin
    Well, President Barack Obama is in a helicopter en route to Fermanagh – Michelle and the girls, Malia and Sasha, are in another helicopter and they’re off to Dublin for a day out …”

  8. 18 Jovie
    June 17, 2013 at 6:40 am

    President Barack Obama on Monday invoked America’s own struggles with tolerance as he praised the peace achieved so far in Northern Ireland and urged young people to play a role in shaping a positive future for their country.

    “And I know because in America, we too have had to work hard over the decades, slowly, gradually, sometimes painfully in fits and starts to keep protecting our union,” Obama said in a speech in Belfast ahead of meetings with G8 leaders.

    Citing the Civil War, segregation and laws banning interracial marriage — “my own parents’ marriage would have been illegal in certain states” — he continued, “but over time, laws changed, and hearts and minds changed, sometimes driven by courageous lawmakers, but more often driven by committed citizens.”

    Nodding to challenges still facing prospects for peace in that country, Obama called on “you young people” to engage in promoting tolerance in a country with a bloody history between Catholics and Protestants.

    “So as your leaders step forward to address your challenges…they’ll need you young people to keep pushing them to create a space for them to change attitudes. Because ultimately whether your communities deal with the past and face the future united together isn’t something you have to wait for someone else to do.That’s a choice you have to make right now. It’s within your power to bring about change.”

    • June 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Only PBO could say this…..with such heartfelt conviction…only PBO could say with truth and grace & that is such an amazing thing to think of…makes me proud of our President…i sincerely hope that the justices of the Supreme Court are listening to our President…

      **********************

      Citing the Civil War, segregation and laws banning interracial marriage — “my own parents’ marriage would have been illegal in certain states” — he continued, “but over time, laws changed, and hearts and minds changed, sometimes driven by courageous lawmakers, but more often driven by committed citizens.”

      *********

  9. 20 Jovie
    June 17, 2013 at 6:44 am

  10. 28 CEB
    June 17, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Good morning. Enjoying the trip so far.

    I have such love for and pride in Our First Family.

  11. June 17, 2013 at 6:48 am

    UT, you’re a LEGEND!!!!!! And the earliest early bird ever!! Thanks a million for this morning’s posts, I was way too busy snoring to do anything constructive. Will follow up later with a Rise and Shine, thank you again!!!

    • 30 utaustinliberal
      June 17, 2013 at 6:54 am

      No problemo Boss Cheesy Puffs. I also included snippets of Pres. Obama’s speech in the comments section below, in case you need a fast transcript. (Thank you BBC)

      • 31 99ts
        June 17, 2013 at 8:02 am

        Great posts UT – now that I’ve cooked & eaten dinner (very late) and done the chores – I can read the rest of the news on TOD.

  12. 32 utaustinliberal
    June 17, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Word Press was acting weird so I am just going to include snippets of Pres. Obama’s speech here in the comments section for those who didn’t watch it live.

    Snippets of Pres. Obama’s speech:

    “Hello, Belfast. Hello, Northern Ireland. Well, now you know why it’s so difficult to speak after Michelle. She’s better than me.”

    “I want to thank two men I’ve hosted at the White House on many a St Patrick’s Day for their warm welcome – First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.”

    “I spend the whole year trying to unite Washington around something, and they come visit on St Patrick’s Day and do it in a single afternoon,” Mr Obama says.

    Mr Obama said he only found out a few years ago that his great-great-great-grandfather was born in Ireland. “When I was first running for office in Chicago, I didn’t know this. I wish I had,” he said.

    “But in Chicago, it worked out okay – they’d look at my last name and say, ‘oh, look, there’s an O’Bama from the homeland running on the South Side – but what kind of name is Barack?”

    The president says that while in Moneygall, County Offaly, he met his eighth cousin, Henry, known affectionately as Henry the Eighth.

    “America’s story, in part, began right outside the doors of this gleaming hall. 325 years ago, a ship set sail from the River Lagan for the Chesapeake Bay, filled with men and women who dreamed of building a new life in a new land.”

    “They, followed by hundreds of thousands more, helped us write those early chapters. They helped us win our independence. They helped us draft our constitution.”

    “Our histories are bound by blood and belief; by culture and commerce. And our futures are equally, inextricably bound together as well. That’s why I’ve come to Belfast today – to talk about the future we can build together.”

    “Many of the qualities that we Americans hold dear we imported from this land, perseverance and faith, an unbending belief that we make our own destiny, and an unshakable dream that if we work hard and live responsibly, something better lies just around the bend.”

    “You are the first generation in this land to inherit more than just hardened attitudes, but a just and hard-earned peace.”

    “Belfast is a different city. Once-abandoned factories are rebuilt. Former industrial sites are reborn. Visitors come from all over to see an exhibit at the MAC, a play at the Lyric, or a concert here at Waterfront Hall,”

    “Families crowd into pubs in the Cathedral Quarter to hear “trad”. Students lounge at cafés, asking each other, “What’s the craic?” (That made me chuckle 😆 )

    “It has been 15 years since the Good Friday Agreement; since clenched fists gave way to outstretched hands; since the people of this island voted in overwhelming numbers to see past the scars of violence and mistrust, and choose to wage peace,”

    “But as all of you know well, for all the strides you’ve made, there’s still much work to do. There are still people who haven’t reaped the rewards of peace; who aren’t convinced that the effort is worth it,”

    There are still wounds that haven’t healed, and communities where tension and mistrust hangs in the air. There are walls that still stand; there are still many miles to go.”

    “But that doesn’t mean our efforts to forge a real and lasting peace must come dropping slow. This work is as urgent now as it has ever been,”

    Mr Obama says there are people living in conflict areas of the world who are looking to the Irish peace process for hope and inspiration. “You are their blueprint to follow. You are their proof of what’s possible. Hope is contagious, they are watching to see what you do next.”

    “If towns remain divided – if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs; if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden – that too encourages division and discourages co-operation.”

    Our Civil War was far shorter than the Troubles, but it killed hundreds of thousands of our people, and the legacy of slavery endured for generations. Even a century after we achieved our own just and lasting peace, we were not fully united.”

    “When I was a boy, many cities still had separate drinking fountains and lunch counters and washrooms for blacks and whites. My own parents’ marriage would have been illegal in certain states.”

    “Still, over time, laws changed, and so did hearts and minds, driven sometimes by courageous lawmakers, but more often by committed citizens,”

    “Whether you take a stand against violence and hatred, and tell extremists on both sides that no matter how many times they attack the peace, they will not succeed, that’s in your hands. And whether you reach your own outstretched hand across dividing lines, across peace walls, to build trust in a spirit of respect. That’s up to you.”

    “Whenever your peace is attacked, you will have to choose whether to respond with the same bravery you’ve summoned so far. You will have to choose whether to keep going, forward not backward.”

    “And like I said when I visited two years ago, I am convinced that this little island, that inspires the biggest things – its best days are yet ahead,”

  13. 35 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 6:50 am

  14. 36 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 6:51 am

  15. 37 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 6:52 am

  16. 38 amk for obama
    June 17, 2013 at 6:52 am

  17. 39 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 6:53 am

  18. 40 utaustinliberal
    June 17, 2013 at 6:53 am

  19. 41 amk for obama
    June 17, 2013 at 6:54 am

  20. 42 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Virtual Tour – Trinity College Dublin

    http://www.tcd.ie/virtualtour/

  21. 44 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Book of Kells Exhibition at Trinity College
    http://www.tcd.ie/Library/bookofkells/

    “PLEASE NOTE THAT THE OLD LIBRARY AND BOOK OF KELLS EXHIBITION WILL BE CLOSED THIS COMING MONDAY, 17 JUNE, UNTIL 14:00. We apologise for the inconvenience caused, and late notice.”

    Hmmm, wonder why? 😀

  22. 45 Jovie
    June 17, 2013 at 6:57 am

    The Hill has an article out saying who is Obama?
    Who is Obama?
    Really? 5 years into it and you don’t know?
    Hint: he takes middle ground on most issues.
    🙂

  23. 49 utaustinliberal
    June 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

    BBC is airing the speech right NOW. For those who missed it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-22889607

      • 51 waltjack
        June 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        Is anyone really interested in the G8 or are we all just waiting for more pictures of the First Family. I know I am waiting for the pictures. The G8 will do what they do regardless, but The First Family makes this trip

        • 52 nathkatun7
          June 18, 2013 at 3:40 am

          Yes, I am interested in the G8! In my humble opinion., trying to diminish what the President is trying to accomplish at the G8, while pretending to be interested in “the pictures of the First Family,” is very deceptive! I view it as an underhanded denigration of President Obama’s official trip.

  24. 53 utaustinliberal
    June 17, 2013 at 7:03 am

    You can watch snippets of POTUS and FLOTUS’s speeches here.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/northern_ireland/

    • 55 Dudette
      June 17, 2013 at 7:07 am

      Hmm, I wonder if the order of arrival has some significance here
      ——————————–

      From the G8 Summit Live Blog
      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/g8-summit-live

      “The story so far

      The Prime Minister arrived in Lough Erne on Sunday night (16 June).

      Leaders are arriving over the course of Monday morning (17 June).

      President Obama arrived first, followed by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.”

  25. 56 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 7:09 am

    From the UTV Liveblog:

    “Your thoughts
    Many of you have been letting us know what you thought about the Obamas and their speeches during the visit to Belfast …

    Mary in Co Leitrim hailed both Barack and Michelle Obama as an “inspiring and uplifting” couple who are “really tuned in to this country”.

    She adds: “What a great welcome at the Waterfront and pleased to see so many of our inspired young people there to welcome them. I would also compliment Hannah who introduced Michelle and made a very special speech indeed.”

    Hugh on Facebook tells us: “I may not appreciate the G8 being here, but gotta love Obama. He’s very charismatic …”

    And David, also on Facebook, enjoyed the craic at the Waterfront, adding that it was “bringing out the best in Northern Ireland.”

  26. 57 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 7:10 am

  27. 59 vcprezofan2
    June 17, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Phone just rang – called to work! 😦 A long day ahead! Please give a couple of extra cheers to the Os for me, people. Drat!

  28. 60 Jovie
    June 17, 2013 at 7:12 am

  29. 61 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 7:12 am

    More from UTV:

    “Day to remember
    The inspirational Hannah Nelson, the 16-year-old who addressed the audience at the Waterfront Hall and introduced First Lady Michelle Obama, has been speaking to UTV’s Jane Loughrey.

    “I don’t think I’ll ever forget it,” she says.”

  30. 62 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 7:16 am

  31. 63 amk for obama
    June 17, 2013 at 7:17 am

    What hell is craic anyway ?

  32. 68 CEB
    June 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I would love to be a fly on the wall to witness the meeting between PBO and Putin.

  33. 72 Dudette
    June 17, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Article with accompanying video from UTV

    NI ‘gives world hope’ – Obama
    http://www.u.tv/News/NI-gives-world-hope-Obama/26bf4550-9a52-4d44-bfa2-bd4620dfe8fd

    US President Barack Obama said the peace process in Northern Ireland gave the world hope and a blueprint to solve other conflicts, but warned that “walls still stand” in the region.

  34. 73 amk for obama
    June 17, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Hey bt, I got a missed call y’day from a 0035 area code number. Google sez it’s Ireland. Is it right ?

    • 85 utaustinliberal
      June 17, 2013 at 7:45 am

      That made me chuckle because when the broadcasters first used “what’s the craic?” I thought the guy was asking the female journo “where’s the crack?” – as in crack cocaine – and my jaw dropped. I was like…is he asking for drugs on live tv? 😆

  35. June 17, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Wow…usually around this time I’m wondering if anyone else is awake and is on the blog. This morning, I find that I’m about three posts behind! It looks as if blog tyrants and TODers have been up all night keep watch over our President and his family!!! 🙂

    Thanks UT for the overnight posts. 😀 Now going back to catch up!

  36. 90 utaustinliberal
    June 17, 2013 at 7:45 am

  37. 91 utaustinliberal
    June 17, 2013 at 7:49 am

  38. June 17, 2013 at 7:55 am

  39. 93 99ts
    June 17, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Most of you would never have heard of an Australian Poem called “the Bush Christening” by A.B. Paterson – but when I read the name of the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness – it was the first thing that came to mind.

    http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

  40. 94 utaustinliberal
    June 17, 2013 at 8:01 am

    • 95 99ts
      June 17, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Everyone wants to meet up with PBO – even the lunatic GOPers – despite they talk to the contrary

  41. 96 amk for obama
    June 17, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas is due to resign shortly in an effort to end political turmoil over a corruption inquiry involving his chief of staff.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22930710

  42. 97 utaustinliberal
    June 17, 2013 at 8:09 am

  43. 98 amk for obama
    June 17, 2013 at 8:10 am

  44. 99 utaustinliberal
    June 17, 2013 at 8:11 am

  45. 101 amk for obama
    June 17, 2013 at 8:15 am

  46. June 17, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I knew you guys would be on the job!!

    thanks


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