History In The Making As Barack Obama First US President Talks In Westminster Hall
President Barack Obama has made another first in history. As well as being the first black US President he has also become the first American President to speak to members of both the House of Lords and House of Commons in Westminster Hall, the oldest building in the Palace of Westminster’s 900 year history; Absolutely phenomenal.
The address to the Houses was a little delayed because Barack wanted to take in the history of the magnificent Palace of Westminster which has seen a King deposed, countless coronations, funerals and trials, as he took a mini guided tour.
After the tour Mr Obama made his way to Westminster Hall where he was greeted by the pomp and ceremony of a trumpet fanfare. You could see that Barack was enthralled by his surroundings as he paid respects to, as he called it, the ‘Mother of Parliaments.’ He continued and began his speech in a light hearted manner when he referred to his predecessors, the Queen, the Pope and Nelson Mandela who had all given speeches at Westminster Hall as either setting a high bar to meet or the beginning of a very funny joke. It relaxed the atmosphere as the Lords and Parliamentarians broke into spontaneous laughter.
The speech confirmed that the alliance between America and the UK is still strong, if not stronger than before, and that they are the hope for the world as they champion democracy, challenge oppression, encourage freedom of the individual to succeed and acceptance of diversity.
As Mr President Barack Obama said “it is that acceptance of diversity - and of newcomers - that makes it possible for the grandson of a Kenyan who served as a cook in the British Army to stand before you as President of the United States".
A great speech by a 'giant' amongst statesmen. A truly momentous occasion.