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Families and the Nation

I'm a grandmother now. And I have one nearly perfect granddaughter named Lily. And when I hold that grandbaby, I feel the continuity of life that unites us, that binds generation to generation, that ties us with each other.

And sometimes I spread that Baptist pallet out on the floor and Lily and I roll a ball back and forth.

And I think of all the families like mine, like the one in Lorena, Texas, like the ones that nurture children all across America.

And as I look at Lily, I know that it is within families that we learn both the need to respect individual human dignity and to work together for our common good. Within our families, within our nation, it is the same.

As we sit there, I wonder if she'll ever grasp the changes I've seen in my life. If she'll ever believe that there was a time when blacks could not drink from public water fountains, when Hispanic children were punished for speaking Spanish in the public schools, and women couldn't vote.

I think of all the political fights I've fought, and all the compromises I've had to accept as part payment.

And I think of all the small victories that have added up to national triumphs. And all the things that never would have happened and all the people who would have been left behind if we had not reasoned, and fought, and won those battles together.

And I will tell Lily that those triumphs were Democratic Party triumphs.

I want so much to tell Lily how far we've come. You and I.

And as the ball rolls back and forth, I want to tell her how very lucky she is. That for all our difference, we're still the greatest nation on this good earth.

And our strength lies in the men and women who go to work every day, who struggle to balance their family and their jobs, and who should never, ever be forgotten.

I just hope that - like her grandparents and her great- grandparents before - that Lily goes on to raise her kids with the promise that echoes in homes all across America:

That we can do better.

And that's what this election is all about.

Thank you very much.


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