Wednesday, May 20, 2009


President Obama gave the commencement address at Notre Dame last weekend, and I was one of the lucky few who go to go and see him speak.  Obama's invitation to speak at Notre Dame has been a hotly debated topic, as many Catholics feel strongly about Obama's views on abortion.  There were many protesters with graphic posters on the route to the campus, but the address went off very well.

Before the speech, I wondered what balance he would strike between the traditional commencement speech ("you are the future, go forth, but don't forget what you've learned in these hallowed halls") versus a more political campaigny speech.  In the end I was impressed that he actually addressed the abortion debate head on.  He talked about the need for both sides of the debate to treat each other with respect and to seek out common ground.  He also pointed out the role that the then President of Notre Dame played in the civil rights movement, and the common ground that was fostered then.  The speech itself, was inspirational.  The text can be found here:

But the most inspiring thing I found was the way the crowd behaved.  There were protesters who made their way into the ceremony and attempted to disrupt the speech.  They were each quickly escorted out by security.  The response of the crowd was phenomenal.  The first few times it happened it was met by Ssshhhh's, but on the third time the crowd broke into a Notre Dame cheer.  The crowd didn't break into an Obama cheer.  They cried out "We are ND".  Essentially saying that this is our community, and we will not allow this sort of disrespect in our house.

It was a proud moment for me.  One where I felt like an American again, not just an ex-pat, and a great way to come home.


Dave May 26, 2009 at 4:33 AM  

what is the step for your relationship? (the one with your blog.)

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