advancing honor speech

Seven months ago, a couple of us were at Subway restaurant, and I said, I have an idea.

I was one person in a crowd in Washington. At that time, I was told that I can make a difference. I can do something I have never done before. I just have to step out and do it, one step at a time. If you know me, I have no money. I have no name recognition, at least not before this and all that stuff you saw in the paper, but I will talk about that in a second.

I just stepped out, hoping that my friends and family would come alongside me. And really, my family thought I was crazy for trying something like this. It’s not like we gathered a whole bunch of big organizations with a lot of money together to do it.

We just banded together and we said, we are going to do it. We are not guaranteed success, and as you step out to make a difference, you are not going to be guaranteed success. You might fail, you might fall, it might rain, but you can do it. And by the way, every single person here is here to help you.

Think about this crowd right here. You might have read in the paper about all these different groups, that totally disagree and always fight, are coming together. It’s going to be ugly. And how are they going to do it?

 

Look around you.

We can do it by who we are and not by the politics in which we have an agenda. And that is the answer.

I can stand next to anyone. If it’s someone I fundamentally disagree with, I can look at you as a person, right in the eye, and say, let’s focus on what really matters and let’s make a difference together. And that is what we have done here tonight. We can be peaceful about it. We can do good things together.

I have said from day one, I believe someone out in this crowd right here–might be somebody that is 8 years old, might be somebody that is 80 years old–for the first time in your life, you are going to take a step to make a difference. There is that idea that has been in your mind for your entire life. You have always said, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the power, I don’t have the name recognition, but today, you are going to take the steps. You can do it. That is the message of today.

I remember the morning after the rally I attended that inspired me. I was simply told that I can, so I decided to step out and do something I have never done before. I was driving to church, and I saw a hot air balloon rising over the horizon as the sun was rising with it. As I saw that, the first words that came to my mind were hope rises. It’s a new day. And we can take the steps to fulfill that, by focusing on what really matters. Every time I see a hot air balloon, I think of hope rises. And where does hope rise from? The truth, from what is inside of yourself and what you know to be true.

And tonight, I just want to make a statement. As you have seen the papers focusing on the republicans and democrats, and the left and the right, I have been trying to say, I have been shouting, that is not what this event is about. Tonight, we show that, and I want to declare for everyone, to make it clear.

May this conclude all of those arguments: politics is not the answer.

We are the answer.

And it’s really simple. I am a conservative, and I have friends that are liberal. I can stand with them for what really matters.

In the lead up to this rally, I remember a time when I was looking up to God, and said, use something of mine to accomplish something for You. Use this. We have invested our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor to make this work.

So today, I ask you to join me and take this step as well, to make a difference, whatever is your dream.

Let’s do it together, to advance honor in how we live our lives.

ANDREW TOME

York, 2011

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