Your moment has come. On Saturday afternoon June 13th at 2 PM, you will be standing with the crowd at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. You will be there at 14th St and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW because you believe in an America that reaches out to the rest of the world with peace and promise. You will be there because you listened to President Obama's fervent promise during the campaign to double the size of the Peace Corps, to send Americans out in new lands and in new ways with outreached hands and open hearts. You will be there to tell the president and Congress that it must give the Peace Corps the full appropriation of $450 million so it can become a bold new force in the 21st century. You will be there for the most important rally in Washington in a long time because you must be there.
You will be there because you volunteer at a homeless shelter, a church or anywhere else and you realize that you are part of a community of service in support of a better world. You will be there because you're a volunteer for AmeriCorps doing community service in Brooklyn, and the Peace Corps Volunteers are your brothers and sisters.
You will be there because you have just returned from Honduras where you served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a tiny mountainous village, and while you tried to change the lives of others, you changed your own life as well. You will be there because you served in India in the Sixties and the rest of your life has been devoted to helping others, and you want tens of thousands of Americans to have the chance you have.
You will be there because your son is serving in Mongolia now, and you've seen from his letters how he has changed, and you are proud beyond belief that he is a Peace Corps Volunteer. You will be there because your daughter is in Micronesia and you know that she is waging peace and in your way you are there with her. You will be there because you are a professor of international relations, and you know that if Obama is to truly have a new foreign policy for the developing world, there must be a bold new Peace Corps. You will be there because you are working for the Peace Corps in Washington, and you know it is time for dramatic change. You will be there because you are one of the 25,000 Americans who have applied to the Peace Corps this year, a 40% percent increase, and you know that there is not a full appropriation of $450 million there will be no room for you.
You will be there listening intently as former Senator Harris Wofford, a lifelong champion of volunteering, speaks from the depths of his great heart. You will be there listening as Tim Shriver, the CEO of Special Olympics International and the son of Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver, speaks with passion of a world of challenge and diversity. You will be there listening to the incredible list of speakers of all ages and backgrounds who will be presenting their own testimonies. You will be there listening to Cairo Fred, one of DC's hottest bands, as they play as part of the entertainment.
If there is sun, you will be there in the sun looking up at the stage. If there is rain, you will be there in the rain because what is a little rain to the Peace Corps. You will be there because you learned about the rally at morepeace.org and if you needed more information you called 202 609-2821. You will be there at this rally as it helped to change the course of history. You will be part of this, and as long as you live you will be proud that you took the trouble to be at Freedom Plaza this day. You will be there.
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