U.S. President Barack Obama urged the youth of Belfast on Monday (June 17) to maintain the peace the city has enjoyed for the past 15 years.
"You are the first generation in this land to inherit more than just the hardened attitudes and bitter prejudices of the past. You're an inheritor of a just and hard-earnt peace."
"Belfast is a different city. Once-abandoned factories are rebuilt, former industrial sites are reborn, visitors come from all over to see an exhibit at the MAC, a play at the Lyric, a concert here at the wonderful Waterfront Hall, families crowd into pubs in the cathedral quarter, students lounge at cafes, asking each other: 'What's the craic?'"
"It's within your power to bring about change. Whether you are a good neighbour to someone from the other side of past battles, that's up to you. Whether you treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, that's up to you. Whether you let your kids play with kids who attend a different church, that's your decision. Whether you take a stand against violence and hatred and tell extremists on both sides that no matter how many times they attack the peace, they will not succeed - that is in your hands. The terms of peace may be negotiated by political leaders, but the fate of peace is up to each of us."