A large crowd gathered at the Verizon Amphitheater eager for change in the United States. Senator Barack Obama spoke to approximately 8,000 people on Feb. 29. In stark contrast to Senator John McCain’s rally, which was open only to USAA employees and the media, Obama’s rally set an energetic pace before the candidate even took stage.
The audience began to chant “Go Obama” in hopes of leading him to the stage. Instead the audience was led into the Pledge of Allegiance. The whole audience stood, most put their hands on their heart, and some saluted.
After the Pledge of Allegiance the Rev. Walker took the stage. He spoke of the “wind of change happening in our country,” Walker said. Most of his prayer focused on the topic of hope and change. “We are here because of hope,” he said.
The audience screamed and cheered loudly. The excitement and patriotism continued as the National Anthem was sung by the Rev. Leroy Gaylor.
Congressman Charlie Gonzalez then spoke. Gonzalez began his speech by calling Texas, “Obama country.” Gonzalez then posed a question to Obama’s critics who call him a dreamer. “What’s wrong with a man of hope?” Gonzalez said
Retired Air Force Captain David Plyler was the next to take the stage. He thanked everyone, especially the young people, saying “the Democratic party needs your energy and your ideas.
“As a veteran, I can say one of the things we are looking for is a new commander-in-chief that respects the Constitution of the United States,” Plyler said.
Obama started his speech by thanking the audience and saying how pleased he was to be in San Antonio. Then Obama thanked his special guests, precinct captain and volunteers. After a short explanation concerning how to be a volunteer in his campaign, he said, “everyone can sit down if you want; I know you must be tired after a long day of work. Rest your feet.” The enthusiastic audience again cheered.
Obama explained his reason for running “because of what Dr. King called the fierce urgency of now,” he said. “We are at a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war, our planet is in peril,” Obama said. “People are working harder for less; they’ve never paid more for gas at the pump, never paid more for electricity, never paid more for college educations.”
Before Obama addressed his platform issues, he said, his faith in the American people has been vindicated and everywhere he goes people are ready for change.
A wave of excitement and cheering spread throughout the amphitheater. The audience grew louder and more excited as Obama yelled, “Yes we can! Sí se puede! Sí se puede! Yes we can!”
Obama went on to say that people are more excited about politics as the election approaches, and he wished he could take all the credit, but some of the credit will go to those who vote.Again the audience cheered and some yelled, “Go, Obama!” He concluded the speech on a familiar note with this message;
“San Antonio: this is our moment. If you will vote for me Tuesday and organize with me, then we will win Texas, we will win this nation, we will win this general election, and you and I together will change this country and we will change this world. God bless you; thank you,” Obama said.