I’m not sure if this was covered in the national news, but President Obama paid a visit to Kalamazoo yesterday. Of course, it was a huge deal here. The reason for his visit was to deliver a high school commencement address to the graduating class of Kalamazoo Central High School. It was, indeed, quite an honor. I heard sound bites of his speech on the news; what I heard was stirring, inspirational, and wise.
Even so, there is a clip of a napping member of the choir — pictured in the background, with the president in the foreground speaking at the podium. A classmate gives the snoozing student a wary look; he jerks to reality just in time to applaud the command-in-chief. Even if it is a hoax, it is sure to go viral.
News reports of the event indicate the Mr. Obama avoided politics and focused on the graduates and the opportunities before them. I was also treated to some reports and cell phone pics, courtesy of my Facebook friends.
While some people were rightly enthused about the president’s visit, many were also critical. This was in part because they feared he would use the event for political expediency, a few because they lack respect for him or his position, but most due to all the commotion and hassles that it caused — not to mention the incredible cost for security.
Interestingly, the news reported that President Obama flew into the Grand Rapids airport and not the much closer Kalamazoo airport. A fleet of helicopters transported him and his team the 45 miles between the two cities. The reporter did not mention what was found lacking with our local airport.
Notably, President Obama reportedly shook hands with each graduate as they received their diploma, likely creating a lasting and significant impression on each one. Thank you President Obama.