"America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise -- that American promise -- and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess. Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America."
Fireworks went off at the end of his speech red and blue star shaped confetti fell.
Obama was joined on stage by his wife Michelle Obama, their daughters Mailia, 10, and Sasha, 7, and his vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill.
Despite the Martin Luther King anniversary, Michelle Obama told ABC's Charlie Gibson in an interview that aired on World News Thursday that the speech would be be geared toward all Americans.
"You know, I think that the issues that are effecting the country really transcend race and gender and age. That's what I've been finding throughout this campaign," Michelle Obama told Gibson.
"When someone is struggling to pay to put gas in their car, when a person has lost their job, and doesn't have health care, and they're worried about their kids' college education, those problems know no racial boundaries ... we're suffering these issues equally, and if we're going to fix them, we're going to have to work together."
Michelle Obama said she hasn't seen a draft of the speech and stopped her husband when he started reading it to her.
"I like to, to feel the impact like everyone else," the potential first lady told Gibson.
She sat beaming as she listened to his speach with her daughters beside her.
Sen. Hillary Clinton sat listening in a skybox, but neither her daughter Chelsea, nor her husband were with her.
She sat with Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, New York Gov. David Paterson, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, New Jersey Gov. John Corzine, Maryland Gov. Martin O' Malley, and LA Mayor Antonio Villaragosa, and her childhood best friend Betsy Ebeling and her staff.
In an earlier speech to the packed stadium crowd, former Vice President Al Gore compared the choice in this election to the choice in 2000 when he ran against then-Gov. George W. Bush, knocking McCain for "recycling" the same old Bush-Cheney policies.
"Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them. The same policies all over again?" Gore said.
"Hey, I believe in recycling, but that's ridiculous."
"With John McCain's support, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have led our nation into one calamity after another because of their indifference to fact; their readiness to sacrifice the long term to the short term, subordinate the general good to the benefit of the few and short-circuit the rule of law."
Gore also said if he won in 2000, the nation wouldn't still be in Iraq.