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With all the problems in the world…
And with politicians giving all those speeches…
Doesn’t it feel good to do the work?
Just stop whining……
And roll up your sleeves!
One million meals have just left the stadium.
We’re feeding the hungry in 11 cities.
There are churches…
That can worship again when it rains…
Because we –
YOU – put a roof up.
Those who are afraid…
We said to them.
Be not afraid!
For we are with you.
And we will be your shelter.
Shelter from the storm.
Those who came with your parents.
I want you to get used to ….
Seeing them in action.
And tell your parents this:
I liked doing this.
I liked YOU doing this.
And I don’t want this…
To be a one-day thing.”
Hold each other to that promise.
Because this is your inheritance.
This whole event is about you.
We did this for you.
It’s about what you watch on TV….
…it’s about your music, movies and school.
It’s about your America …
The America we are building for you.
We talked tonight about America’s history…
The pilgrims… George Washington…
…Abraham Lincoln… Martin Luther King….
And these men… they are part of history.
And you may be thinking…
…that’s history! I hate history!
All those guys are DEAD!
But that’s not true.
History is always alive.
History breathes. It doesn’t belong behind glass.
It belongs to you.
History is where we learn…
…who we really are.
Everything we have…
Everything we enjoy…
By someone else….
Before we were born.
The America we have today …
… is what someone else created for us.
We inherited America…
…this America …
…from our parents and grandparents.
What we have…
We can’t be blamed for what they did wrong.
And we can’t take credit for what they did right.
We didn’t fight their wars.
We didn’t march with them.
We didn’t build the schools.
That was done for us.
And we will do that for our children.
That’s how an inheritance works.
You can’t control what you get from your parents…
But you can shape what you leave behind.
If you get an inheritance…
You can improve on it.
Or you can spend it…
The story of America …
…is filled with great families.
The Rockefellers. The Carnegies. The Vanderbilts.
Some have grown in prosperity.
Some have spent it all.
In Newport, the mansions sit high on cliffs.
But the families that built them…
Can’t afford to live there anymore.
They inherited something great…
…but they lost it all.
All they have is their famous names.
If this can happen to a great family…
…It can happen to a great country.
We must not become America in name only.
We must always strive to be a great country.
We don’t have to spend our inheritance.
We can build on it.
Invest it. Improve it.
Make it bigger and better.
That’s your choice. It’s our choice.
Our inheritance is America.
And we have to decide…
…Are we going to spend it all?
…Or will we make the dream bigger?
Tonight: I charge each of you with a mission.
No matter your age.
No matter how you got here…
Or how far you traveled.
To shape the future.
To do one pure thing:
Make America better than it is today.
Build a bigger inheritance…
Do what we’re supposed to do…
For our children.
Every generation of America faces this challenge.
And some fail.
Those who have failed
They waited for someone else to act.
They found out much too late that
When you wait for someone to help you…
…That someone will show up….
…They may give you a push.
But far too often they will push you around,
There is a difference between getting pushed…
…and getting pushed around.
For two types of people
There ARE two kinds of Americans.
Not Democrats and Republicans.
Not God-fearing and God-doubting.
Bigger than those differences.
I think there are two kinds of Americans.
Those who like to be pushed.
And those who push themselves.
Those who see our problems and refuse to see our blessings.
And those who see our problems as our blessings…
Tonight: I ask you:
Which are you?
Where do you stand?
With those who like to be pushed?
Or those who push themselves?
Each of us likes to think…
We won’t get pushed around.
But history tells us that’s not the truth.
We know that sometimes…
It’s easy to do nothing.
Not long ago, America was divided by race –
One white, with rights…
And one black, without rights.
Some said: “This is the way it has to be…
“We just have to live with it…”
That’s what a lot of people believed…
…thought… and said.
Whites believed. And some blacks did, too.
… another way of looking at things.
A small number of men and women…
…They saw injustice.
And they knew it wouldn’t last.
They said: “America is a great nation,
“and it is capable of justice.
“America has the tools to be great…
“And one day, America will be great…
“We will tear down Jim Crow.
They didn’t say we might overcome.
They said: “We shall overcome.”
Martin Luther King said it was his DREAM.
But it was not his dream.
It was the American destiny.
He did not wait for the arc of history to bend towards justice…
He and millions like him pushed…
They pushed and they pushed uphill.
They pushed and they were pushed back by water cannons.
They pushed and they were pushed back by billy clubs and tear gas.
They pushed and they were pushed back on the bridge at Selma.
They pushed and they were pushed off the bus in Montgomery.
They pushed and they were pushed into jail.
They pushed and some gave their lives…
But they never stopped pushing.
And in the end…
They bent history towards justice.
That was their inheritance to us.
WASHINGTON, LINCOLN and KING
They are the American story.
Each gave their whole life to America.
And what they built…
Has lasted for 236 years.
They did not see a completed America in their days.
And it’s never finished.
They saw a void…
…and filled it.
AND SO SHALL WE.
Where’s that card?
Worth $2.8 million!
You’re not holding an asset.
You’re holding a man’s life!
You’re holding a man’s legacy!
The man on that card.
Is Honus Wagner.
He was a great player.
But his card’s value…
Comes from a different greatness.
We remember him not just because…
He was a great hitter.
We remember him
…because he stood for something.
It couldn’t have been easy.
Back in his day…
Everyone smoked or chewed tobacco.
But he wouldn’t smoke.
And they put…
…an ad for cigarettes…
…on his card.
Right next to his name.
Honus Wagner was a Christian man.
He didn’t smoke. He didn’t chew.
So he was faced with a choice.
He stood up.
He didn’t want his name…
Next to something he opposed.
He refused to bend.
He refused to comply.
And so while there were others…
Other great baseball players…
Honus Wagner’s card is the one…
Honus Wagner is the name we remember…
Honus Wagner is the card with the most value.
This card is telling us something.
Something that Honus didn’t know at the time.
This card is screaming
Pleading to be heard
“Do the right thing!
It is the only way….
…. to create lasting worth and great value.”
History isn’t about a bunch of dead guys…
Staring at us sternly…
From the textbooks.
And the paintings.
History’s great figures
Are talking to us still…
If we just listen.
History isn’t in museums.
We are creating it right now.
With every single choice.
Will we do the easy thing or
Will we stand….
…and create something of lasting value?
It is an easy choice
But it is not an easy commitment.
Commitment is where it starts.
The Puritans had it easy.
All they had to do was make it through the winter.
All he had to do was beat the British.
All he had to do was keep the Union.
Martin Luther King?
All he had to do was get Americans to listen to the words of the Declaration of Independence…
…That all men are created equal.
…And endowed by their Creator…
What’s our challenge?
We don’t have to build a nation.
We don’t have to conquer racism.
We don’t have emptiness in our stomachs.
What we have is a void…
…A void in our hearts.
An emptiness in our culture.
We have forgotten…
What we’re building.
And so others step in and tell us what to build.
Where to build it.
How to build it.
When to build it.
We have lost our way.
You have heard me talk about this.
If you want to raise money …
… with a bake sale,
The government will stop you.
“Transfats!” They’ll say.
No bake sales!
If you want to give food to soup kitchens…
Don’t try to give them doughnuts… or salty snacks.
You’ll be turned away. “Unhealthy”… “Not nutritious.”
And they’ll say: “Don’t worry, we got this one.”
“We’ll take care of these people. So you don’t have to.”
But because of you,
The first of many trucks are headed out…
To our cities…
Our American cities…
To send a clear message…
This is who we are.
This is what we were taught.
When we see someone hungry…
…we will give them food.
When we see somebody hurting…
…we will give them help.
We are Americans.
We are builders.
We are helpers.
And if there’s one thing …
…our government must NOT do…
Don’t stop us.
Don’t stop us from helping.
Don’t stop us from feeding.
We. Will. Serve.
We are not a selfish people.
We are selfless.
You are the living proof of this.
You are living proof that Americans are good.
Americans are still people of action.
Americans want freedom.
Americans want justice.
We want love.
And here’s the thing:
There are millions of you.
Millions just like you.
Millions ready to act.
Ready to take up the struggle.
To live it …
… to restore love to America.
We will not let go.
We will not give up.
We’re not going to put our cars in neutral.
We’re not going to coast down the hill.
We’re going to do it the hard way.
We’re going to put our shoulders down.
We’re going to get behind the car.
And we’re going to push America up the hill.
We’re never going to get to the top
But neither did they,
They did not give up.
And neither will we.
Because we are Americans.
And we will, in the end…
Have more than our great name.
We will have a great country again.
And a great legacy for our children!
We will not give up.
We will not give up our inheritance.
We will not give up the right to feed the hungry…
…the right to care for the sick…
…the right to run a bake sale!
We will not give someone else…
…the work of our hearts…
…the work that we must do.
We will do it…
…because we ARE already doing it.
I will not let go.
I will not sit down.
I will not comply.
I will not comply.
Because I know…
I know this:
America is not done.
And if you are watching this broadcast…
In a distant foreign land…
And looking for American weakness.
Looking for surrender.
Look at this crowd!
And know that we are putting you on notice.
Witness the Third Great Awakening!
Your time has passed,
And our time has just begun!
Let this be the beginning
Commit and declare it for all to hear.
For those who count us out
Are counting on
ONE weekend of action…
…ONE weekend of speeches…
ONE weekend. ONE day.
Let this be the first of many…
It’s not over.
We have not yet begun to restore ourselves
And reclaim our country
The Puritans didn’t leave Plymouth after a day.
George Washington didn’t pack up ….
… at Valley Forge after one cold night.
He got down on one knee…
He called on the blessings of heaven.
He had firm reliance on the protection…
Of divine Providence.
God is with us.
God is our sovereign.
And with Him…
Our battle is already won.
Washington, Lincoln. King.
Even in death, they live…
And speak to us.
And so let us live fully…
Not just mark the days.
As Washington said,
“deeds not words”
And for Lincoln,
The mission of the living…
Was written by those who came before.
“The world will little note,
nor long remember…
What we said here.
But rather what we dedicate…
To do here.”
History is a guide …
…not a guarantee.
It is for us the living ….
…to be dedicated …
to the unfinished work…
which they …
…who came before us
….have thus far so nobly advanced
It is for us …
To be dedicated …
To the great task before us—
that from these honored dead
we take increased devotion
To that cause
For which they gave…
The last full measure of devotion—
that we here highly resolve
that these dead
Shall not have died in vain—
that this nation, under God,
shall have a new birth of freedom—
and that government of the people,
by the people,
for the people,
shall not perish from the earth.”
That is our charge,
That is our duty,
That is our blessing,
With malice toward none
And charity toward all
Let us tonight restore Love…
will hold us together.
…will make us a shelter from the storm.
I will be my brother’s keeper.
The world will know once again…
That they are not alone.
The Americans again have arrived.