Saying goodbye to Obama: Why I'm proud to be an American (especially while abroad)

Friday, January 20, 2017


    Dear President Obama,

Like many other Americans, I would like to take the time today to thank you and your Administration for your service. For the past eight years you and your team have helped create a better America. As someone who is constantly traveling, I was proud to call myself an American because of you. No matter how far away I was from America, when I told others of my nationality a smile would automatically appear on their face. "Barack Obama is your President", they would tell me in delight. The fact of the matter is, Mr President, you created change not only in America but throughout the world. You influenced people's decision making and created hope for everyone regardless of their race, age, or creed. I remember when I was traveling around the Caribbean
during Christmas of 2008 how excited people were for you to become President of the United States. Just weeks before your inauguration, the people of these islands were already impressed with the hurdles you had overcome. Posters of your face could be seen on billboards celebrating your election and at one island, there was even a hospital being built in your name.

 Eight years later, I, and others, have become more impressed by your work. If I could pinpoint one lesson that I learned from your Presidency as an American citizen it would be that you inspired so many  of us to believe in change. You made us believe that no matter what, we could make a positive difference in this world. There was something about your discourse that made me believe that anything was possible, even at some of our (the American people's) lowest and saddest times in history. Throughout the many tragedies the American people faced during your Presidency, you continued to remind us that there was hope in a better tomorrow.

    "Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”- Barack Obama 

While your Presidency might be coming to an end today, I truly believe that your influence will remain for generations to come. I will always be proud of the American people for having elected you as our Commander and Chief. I am honored to have lived during your Administration and to have been given the chance to vote for you. Because of you, I am proud to call myself an American wherever I go. Thank you for your service, inspiration, the endless nights of work, and all the other in-between stuff that has probably gone unnoticed. You have inspired me, and many others (on much larger scales) to create change both here in the United States and abroad. For that I will always be grateful. 


Sabrina Kennelly 

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