Saturday 18 November 2017

President gives youth in North a message of hope for the future

OFTEN it takes a stranger to come among us and help us see the wood from the trees. So it was with US President Barack Obama's address to students in Belfast yesterday, as he delivered a clinical but forward-looking assessment of the North's still fragile peace.

At a time when the marching season cranks up once more ahead of July 12, it is often easy to succumb to 'a glass-half-empty' mentality. But Mr Obama's reminder to his young audience of how much things have changed helps us put things in perspective.

The youngsters in his audience at the Waterfront in Belfast rightly take for granted that daily life now is almost free from the impositions of heavy security. "These daily moments of life in a bustling city in a changing country may seem ordinary to many of you. And that's what makes it extraordinary," the President said.

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