Obama pens moving farewell letter to the US people

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
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President Barack Obama has just one day left in the White House – and he has used his time to write a very important letter to the people of America.

The powerful message, which has been shared on the official White House blog, begins with Obama confirming that he has chosen to add his own unique twist to a long-standing presidential tradition; as well as leaving a letter for his successor, Donald Trump, he has chosen to share one with the citizens of the USA, too.

“It's a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place,” he explains. “It's a letter meant to share what we know, what we've learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world.

“But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honour of serving as your 44th. Because all that I've learned in my time in office, I've learned from you.”

Thanking everyone for their support, and for all they have taught him over his last eight years as POTUS, Obama goes on to tell them that they “made me a better man”.

“You have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength,” writes Obama. “I’ve seen neighbours and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers – and found grace in a Charleston Church.”

Obama continues: “I've taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I've seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I've seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own.

“I've seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other.”

He adds: “I've seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humour, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I've seen our future unfolding.

“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.”

Obama’s letter ends: “I'll be right there with you every step of the way. 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.’

“Yes, we can.”

Later this afternoon, Obama will step down as President and make way for his successor, Trump.

Trump’s inauguration ceremony will begin at 9.30am (2.30pm GMT) at the US Capitol Building, with the official ceremony happening at noon (5pm GMT).