The 20,000 who came to hear him speak were the saddest looking crowd of faces I have seen since 1963 when we said goodbye to John Kennedy. And it's not because of what comes next. That doesn't bear thinking about. No, it's entirely because President Obama is going away. We have lost him to the passing of time. Eight years have slipped away.
But I shall always remember the dancing in the streets on Election Night in 2008 here in this little town in the mountains of Pennsylvania and around the whole world. And who can forget Jesse Jackson in Chicago's Grant Park with his face covered with tears.
We cried with joy when you came, President Obama, but these are not tears of joy as you leave.
Do not fear for your legacy. You are secure in our hearts. Especially among the Native Americans, for in you they found the only friend they have ever had in the White House. You need not wonder as does this poet:
"I wonder if when all is done
Anyone heard my voice
But from the start, we have no choice
Our journeys just begun
I'll never know if I was right
Did I fight hard enough?
Or when the battles grew too rough
Should I have given in?
But here I stand and swear to you
I did the best that I could do
I know my voice was just a whisper
But someone may have heard
There were nights the moon above me stirred
And let me grab a hold
My hands have touched the gold
My heart's been driven by extremes
Blind with dreams, tight with fear
But still, God knows I was here
And oh, I was alive! And now I lay the past to rest
For in the end I did my best."
Mr. President, it was a splendid best.