President Obama has issued a final goodbye to the American people.
One day before leaving office, the commander in chief posted a letter to the White House website thanking the nation for providing him with strength and inspiration throughout his eight-year service.
“[A]ll that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you,” he wrote. “You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.”
Obama went on to recall witnessing “goodness, resilience and hope” as the country experienced both historic achievements and crushing tragedies. In a look to the future, he also cited solidarity as a key factor for continued progress.
“America is not the project of any one person,” he wrote. “The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.'”
Urging readers to engage in the “joyous work of citizenship,” Obama stressed the importance of taking action “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.”
Despite his imminent departure from the Oval Office, the President explained that his work is still far from over.
“I’ll be right there with you every step of the way,” he wrote.
The President’s wife, Michelle, has offered reflective words of her own. On Wednesday, the outgoing First Lady shared parting words of gratitude to her nearly 10 million Instagram followers.
“Being your First Lady has been the honor of a lifetime. From the bottom of my heart, thank you,” she wrote, captioning a photo of her and the President overlooking the White House South Lawn and Washington Monument.
Obama’s note concludes a series of send-offs delivered as his second term drew to a close. Earlier this month, he issued a farewell address from Chicago and conducted his last White House press conference days later.
Both he and the First Lady will be in attendance at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
— Erin Biglow