Though "we may not live to see the glory," as the song from the musical Hamilton goes, "let us gladly join the fight." Let our legacy be about "planting seeds in a garden you never get to see."
That's why we're here...not just in this hall, but on this Earth. The founders showed us that. And so have many others since. They were drawn together by love of country and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow. That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight.
Yes, the world is watching what we do. Yes, America's destiny is ours to choose. So let's be stronger together, my fellow Americans. Let’s look to the future with courage and confidence. Let’s build a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country. And when we do, America will be greater than ever.
Hillary Clinton spoke those words when she accepted the nomination as the Democratic party’s nominee for president of the United States on July 28th 2016 in Philadelphia, PA. As I watched her speak, I was overwhelmed by a sense of deep pride, which I had never felt during an election. This was it. A woman, and not just any women – Hillary Clinton, a woman who I respect and admire so very much, was going to be our next president.
The world is watching what we do. Those words, on that night, struck me as the words that I would remember. They meant something about this country that I live in. A country of diversity and inclusion, where freedom is protected, and the chance at a good life is possible. A country that offers aid to those in need, and works tirelessly at strengthening alliances with others to promote peace and well being. Those words were a reminder of just how wonderful this place, that I am lucky enough to call home, truly is. Today, seven weeks later, those words serve as an equally powerful but very different reminder. In a time of growing fear and anger, I look to Hillary’s courage as my north star and see the road ahead as an opportunity to lead by example each day. Actions and thoughts, big and small – the world is watching what we do.
In the days after the election, like so many Americans, I mourned for our country. My heart is broken. I’m still processing what happened and coming to grips with the reality of the results. That doesn’t mean though, that I’m accepting this new administration and its plans to plunge us into division and silence. I will not go back to life as usual, let someone else figure it out, and hope for the best. Each day there are countless ways to learn, take action, and move forward. This nightmare can become a gift, if we rise up – not with violence or hate – but with fiery perseverance and one another.
I’m traveling to DC on January 21st for the Women’s March on Washington. I will join my mom, two sisters, and almost 200,000 others to make our voices heard. I will march for my niece, for women who are victimized and abused, for every person’s right to make decisions about their own bodies, and to carry the torch that Hillary Clinton ignited in me through the streets of Washington DC for all the world to see. This is just one in many, many steps that I’ll take on what looks to be a very long road.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a leading figure of the early women's rights movement, once said, “The best protection any woman can have is courage.”
May we each find our courage and learn to wield it as an instrument of change.