Appearing in Columbus, Ohio today, President Obama made the latest in a series of speeches designed to promote his economic stimulus package as an antidote to the recession. He also happened to speak on the same day that the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that unemployment has risen from 7.6 percent to 8.1, following the loss of 651,000 jobs in February.
Obama's recent public remarks have consistently focused on the money being spent to save and create jobs amid the current economic crisis, and today's address to the graduating class of the Columbus Police Academy was no different. But also worth noting was this Churchill-esque call for courage, in which Obama said the whole country needs to be more like the new officers:
The job you signed up for is not easy...But you knew all that when you joined the academy. You knew the risks involved, you knew the sacrifices required, and yet you stood up and said, "I'll take that risk. I'll make that sacrifice. I will do that job."
And that, Columbus, is the very essence of responsibility. That's the spirit we need in this country right now, no matter what our role is or what our profession that we've chosen. It's a spirit that asks us to look beyond our own individual ambitions to the wider obligations we have as the good citizens of a great nation; a spirit that calls on us to say, "I'll make that sacrifice. I'll do that job."
If we can summon that spirit once more; if we're willing to look out for one another and listen to one another; if we are willing to pull together and do our part; if we can show even a fraction of the courage and selflessness that these cadets have already demonstrated, then I have no doubt that we will emerge from this crisis stronger than before and keep this nation's dream alive for future generations.
Much more forceful about the idea of "spirit" than, say, his speech at the Department of Transportation on Tuesday.