President Barack Obama’s farewell tour has been emotionally draining and full of highs and lows. While it’s customary for the President to leave a letter in the oval office for the next in line, Obama also penned another letter for the American people. 

“Before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th,” he wrote. “Because all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man.”

He then concisely summarized his experiences as the 44th president by mentioning highlights such as the Affordable Care Act, marriage equality and graduations. He also took time to touch on tragic times, such as the Charleston church massacre. But, by the end, he made it clear that he has hope for the American people because of the good qualities they’ve shown him over the past eight years.

“I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding,” he said. “All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work — the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there’s an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.”

“I’ll be right there with you every step of the way,” he continued. “And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We the People.’ ‘We shall overcome.'”

This morning, he completed one of his last duties as president by leaving a letter for the president-elect behind. Watch him leave the oval office for the last time as president below.


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