I am constantly reminded that so much of everyday life is artificial. I see countless people going about their business without any recollection of who they really are? Who are you? The person you are today is not who you truly are. Listen, let me tell you the story of who you are.
If you just think about it for moment, to embrace how amazing life and the experience of life truly is. But it didn’t start with your life. It started with the lives of those who endured. That is the only reason you are here today. Do you understand that? Your ancestors had to overcome death, disease, famine, war, violence, and untold horrors, each step of the way could have resulted in their deaths, and you would not be here today. There are people who are not here today because their ancestors did not make it. But you, you are a testimony that they did make it. Time and time again, against all those odds, your ancestors survived. Within you is that pedigree, you are a survivor. Your blood has those genes of those fighters who when confronted with everything against them, still found a way. Deep inside of you resides a survivor. That is who you are. This is why I have no doubt that Scranton can change overnight. The people of Scranton can change it. Their history is a testament to their ability and they can again manifest those qualities that permitted them to make it this far. The history of Scranton is not about the failure of the coal mining industry. It is about the ability for a people to overcome the failure of the coal mining industry.
The depressed economic conditions that have beset the northeastern Pennsylvania are a singular manifestation of what was lost. It is not the coal mining industry or the textiles that were lost. What was lost is the memory of a great people. There is nothing in the history of the Scranton people that indicates weakness. When it comes down to it, it is the story that we tell ourselves that determines how we view the world. I believe that the story that is often told about this region bears no resemblance to the truth. It is time the Scranton people come up with their own story. And if there are any doubts that the people in this city can do whatever they put their minds to all they have to do is just remember how they made it this far. All they need to do is dig deep and find that strength because I am sure that whatever the people of this city will face going forward pales in comparison to what they have already gone through regarding the fight for equality and fairness. And we already know that that story ended with a complete change of the course of American history. Well, you guys did it before. How about one more time?