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Dear Honorable President Barack Hussein Obama II and Family,
I felt the need to write you this letter for two reasons, to say thank you and to say I am sorry.
I don’t know how many people have thanked you for being one of the greatest Presidents we have ever had in this country. Through judgement of your legitimacy and unsurmountable opposition, to every move you have tried to make for the betterment of this country, you have served this country with style and grace in a way that no President in my knowledge has ever done. You and your family have done so much, knowing that you will never get the credit you deserve.
I am an army veteran, and throughout your Presidency, regardless of the decisions you have had to make, I have never been more proud to serve this country. You and the First Lady, Michelle Obama will be the examples of who I want my children to desire to emulate. You have inspired me to be a better version of myself every day, and after you leave the Presidency I will continue down that path.
The fight that you have fought does not and will not end with you. You are an inspiration to people the world over. You have held the world on your shoulders in a way that no one ever believed you could and you did it as a gentleman and a scholar.
To the First Lady, you are the standard of how women across the world should be held to.
To your daughters, be proud in the fact that your parents are heroes in every sense of what a hero is supposed to be. They should be proud of the fact that they have played part in the making of a symbol of greatness for people who have been too far under served by this nation for too long.
I AM SORRY.
I am sorry that too many of us have left you to do this alone. I am sorry that too few of us in this nation took up the mantle of hope that you started this journey with and spread it across this nation. I am sorry that that we abandoned you on the battle field in Washington D.C. as many of us sat back and watched while you were attached from every side imaginable, and then blamed you for not doing enough. You have never let us down; we have forsaken the faith that you had in us. I am sorry that somehow we allowed hate to beat out love.
There is so much more I want to say, but in this moment, my heart is heavy.
However, there is an upside to this dark day. Today is my birthday, and when I woke up this morning I cried, because this is the first time in my life I feel ashamed to have served this country. Then I looked at my son and I reinvigorated in my focus. I was reminded of why you inspire me. My gift to myself on this day is to work harder than ever in everything that I do. I will not let this wave of hatred weaken my stance against animosity in any of its forms. I pray that others will join me in fighting against all the division and distraction that has crawled out of the darkness, by way of the Republican representation and those of like-minded ideologies.
Your victories will stand forever in me and all those who are now can see our current reality.
Lauren Patterson is a single father, student in the Communication and Program program at CUNY SPS, entrepreneur, and a veteran. However, first and foremost Lauren is a student of life. Lauren is a self-proclaimed work in progress, and thrives on his motto: live to be the successful person you already are.
I listened to President Obama’s final State of the Union address. He ended his address by putting the onus for the state of our political system on the American citizenry—us. He closed the circle quite nicely.
Back in 2008, I was flipping channels and came across Michelle Obama making a speech. Essentially, she said that if we elected her husband, we couldn’t abandon them once they entered the White House. She said that her husband would need an engaged citizenry in order to govern well. It was heartening to hear her. As a citizen, I felt empowered.
I was encouraged to do something that I had not done since high school. I read the United States Constitution. I rediscovered the fact that the President’s job is to protect the Constitution. I also learned that the states are where the real power is in the United States. People who really want to be engaged and vote on high stakes elections should really keep their eyes on local races.
Senator Obama’s tagline was “Yes we can!” President Obama is ending on a note of “Yes, you can!” We should accept the challenge.
Rhonda Harrison has just completed her studies at CUNY SPS to earn her post-graduate certificate in Adult Learning & Program Design. She is a social worker with a background in workforce development and currently works as an Advisor at a community college.