In a previous article, we discussed the fundamental steps of writing a speech - which includes knowledge of the topic and your target audience, mastery of your own words, capturing the audience’s attention, and a powerful conclusion. These essentials are applicable to any occasion in which a speech could be considered a boon. Before we arrive at the speech example, it is important to understand the role that speeches play in our daily lives. So to speak, for every social occasion that you will attend, a speech could always come handy, necessitating the need for this speech example that you can use as a guide.
On a smaller scale, any intimate social occasion could make use of a great speech to encapsulate the general mood. Whether it is your best friend’s wedding or your parents’ wedding anniversary, knowledge of writing a speech, especially if you have been requested to deliver one, is always a win-win. For such occasions, speeches are meant to amuse the audience and prompt them or to “live” the moment. There are many speech examples online that can help you master speech writing.
On a grander scale, some of the greatest speeches in the history of the United States (i.e. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream) were delivered in recognition and in response to tumultuous times and they could not have been timelier. Looking back now, these speeches ushered in seismic shifts that would shape not only their respective eras but also contribute to the current state of American society and the world in general as we know it. History is witness to the power of these speech examples in inspiring change and rallying Americans together during the most turbulent periods in their nation’s history. The greatness of these speeches is evidenced by their immediate elevation to the status of fine and timeless literary gems. These examples of great speeches embody statesmanship, eloquence, sincerity, and most importantly, the triumph of the human spirit.
Which now drives us to our very own speech example. Suffice to say that the United States is now caught at a time wherein adherence to the principles upon which it was founded seems to be the exception rather than the rule. It is apparent that many Americans are suffering from memory gap, and they seem to have forgotten the qualities that brought the ascent of their relatively young nation to “promised land” reputation in such a short span of time – a vast understanding of history, strength in diversity, and unity.
The topic of this speech example below is appropriate not only for today’s times but for all future instances should the nation find itself again caught at the proverbial crossroads. It is recommended reading for you to guide you in writing your speech. Irrespective of your academic level - high school, college, and even graduate or Ph.D., this speech should prompt any rational and patriotic American to examine today’s times.
Speech Example: America at the Crossroads
I hope this little message finds you well during these troublesome times. I am grateful for your time in hearing out what I deem as a timely reminder to us, the children of this great democracy. I wish that these next few minutes will prophesize what we can achieve together if we bond together.
You may wonder what brought us here together. We are here today amidst political turmoil, divisiveness, misinformation, racism, and hate. The multiplying undesirable flaws in our nationhood brought us here, reminiscent of the many times in our nation’s history when generations before ours united to bring forth needed change, to stay true to the principles our nation’s founders upheld so dearly, and to continue the fight for humanity, justice, and harmony.
I dare say that a reminder does to the forgetful is what medicine does to the sick.
Taking place right before our eyes is the alarming rise of groups whose ideologies mirror those of ones that have presumably been banished from polite political discourse because of wickedness – white supremacists, Nazis, Klansmen, neo-nationalists. The news and social media are replete with such tangible animosity that as your brother, I feel the need to remind us of our roots.
I stand before you, a third-generation American of German Jewish descent, still young when my grandfather died but was old enough to absorb his story and stories, told in intermingling English and Yiddish, grim accounts of unspeakable horror that shaped who I am today. My grandfather survived the Holocaust, and he frequently recollected that escaping to the United States not only saved his life, but also his sanity.
As we all know, postwar America was vastly different then but it was convincingly better than what became of Europe during the waning years of the war. Flawed and far from perfect, America nevertheless held a promising future in the hands of her children who were willing to embrace change, capitalizing on united diversity and the collective aim to forge a better tomorrow for future generations.
I would not be granted the privilege of speaking today if it were not for Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Robert F. Kennedy, among others. The beautiful rainbow that is formed by our different skin colors as we assemble here today, we owe to them. When hate was the norm and apathy was considered acceptable, these heroes made sure that our generation would reap the benefits of a citizenry that possessed understanding, tolerance, and a sense of brotherhood despite differences. The friendships that we treasure, the people that we love, and the mishmash of cultures that we have come to love were made possible by them. Like Lincoln a century ago and the Founding Fathers before him, we draw strength from unity. Due to our diversity, it is harmonious unity that is vital to our survival as a country and as a people.
Our ancestors had one thing in common - they fled their homeland in search of prosperity and freedom, untangled from the shackles of conflict, poverty, and ethnic persecution. It is with certainty that I, therefore, ask you, my American brothers and sisters, to preserve this once-promised land’s values. Instead of pointing out our differences, let us dwell on our commonalities and what binds us together. Family, friends, the pursuit of happiness in a land that has been kind to us – these are the things that we all share.
We can heal our nation’s wounds in ways that are innately human, we need only examine ourselves. By holding ourselves accountable for our own actions, by treating our neighbors as we would like ourselves to be treated. By educating ourselves that recognition and deep understanding of our differences is actually key to tolerance. Understanding breeds tolerance. Tolerance results in harmony. Harmony to peace. Peace to prosperity. Prosperity to improved life quality.
Yes, we are tasked with a tall order – restoring peace and humanity in our beloved country. How shall we do it? On a national scale, we start by exercising the best gift that democracy has given us – the right to choose our leaders. With exemplary leaders comes great education. Let us elect qualified, morally upright people to be in charge of our legislation. Education leads to enlightenment.
It is difficult but not impossible. Central to surmounting this obstacle is a deep examination of this little rhyme I prepared for you, radiating with optimism and hope, simple yet profound, a rhyming yet biting reality:
A united people of America leads to a better United States of America.
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