Thank you, President Obama, for eight great years!
I remember watching the election results come in across the country after returning home from voting for you back in November, 2008 and again 4 years later. I remember how my heart filled with pride when you won the election and that, as a nation, we turned a corner and started a new chapter in our short history. In my adult years on this planet, I have participated in every election; I remember, as a young child in 1960, the election of President Kennedy, I being only five years old and my heart filling with that same pride I felt when you were elected. I remember President Kennedy’s famous words six months later that would commit this nation to putting a man on the moon within the decade. We not only did that but we did it three years ahead of schedule! Both you and he have exceeded the ideal that the President of the United States represents the best of us, that the president is of the people but is the best from the people; with unmatched grace, class and intelligence you have led us through dangerous waters and we not only survived but have prospered. I am grateful for your leadership and am proud to have called you my president. The nation and the world are now and will forever be better off that you were the 44th president of these United States.
Now, over forty years since Commander Neil Armstrong set foot upon the moon, Elon Musk has successfully led SpaceX to the point where private industry is able to augment and assist the nation as we continue our leadership role in space exploration. SpaceX and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin would not have been able to accomplish what they have, had it not been for your leadership accompanied by the strong support and advocacy your administration has shown for education, science and space exploration, an environment only a president with vision can engender.
You have been a consummate statesman who has led the nation through very difficult times over the previous eight years, setting the bar very high while providing a singular example of leadership to the rest of the world. Now, we are presented with a stark departure from certain basic norms of support and affirmation I, along with my colleagues in science and education, have grown accustomed to from the federal government.
Through your vision and intelligence, you have appointed such brilliant and highly-qualified individuals to head such important posts as:
Charles Bolden as NASA Administrator
through Administrator Bolden’s leadership, the James Webb Space Telescope will become a reality and quoting him, “I think we can all be confident that the new Trump administration and future administrations after that will continue the visionary course on which President Barack Obama has set us.”
1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Steven Chu, Ph.D as Secretary of Energy (1st term)
at the time of his appointment, Secretary Chu was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Earnest Moniz, Ph.D as Secretary of Energy (2nd term)
Secretary Muniz is a brilliant Stanford Educated Nuclear Physicist and distinguished MIT professor of Physics.
The appointment of these individuals to such important posts illustrates your commitment to science and education and your recognition of the importance of science and the role it must play as America and the world move forward into the 21st century.
Thank you for providing strong support and leadership in the fight against Climate Change with your Climate Action Plan and most notably and quite recently, at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit. It is clear that our greatest adversary here is not the climate, but flesh and blood and the winning of hearts and minds.
Thank you for providing healthcare to millions of Americans who would, otherwise, not have it;
Thank you for ending two ill-conceived wars;
Thank you for reversing the significant national debt and for putting countless Americans back to work with your progressive and far-sighted economic policies;
Thank you for leaving us with a much improved and vibrant economy, an economy that teetered on total failure when you took office;
Thank you for all that you’ve done while suffering numerous indignities disgracefully hurled at you;
Thank you for being the champion of the underdog and for the enactment of HARP and HAMP, saving untold thousands of homeowners from a bleak future in the wake of the 2008 housing crisis;
Thank you for all this and so much more in spite of intolerable congressional intransigence;
It is only fitting that we close with your Farewell Speech, Mr. President. You will be sorely missed and history will forever remember you as one of the greatest presidents this country ever had.
All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike-and yet it is the most precious thing we have
An index of all articles in this blog can be found here.