Inspiration
Read President Obama's Final Letter to the American People
"You made me a better President, and you made me a better man."
IMAGE Getty
Comments

Yesterday was President Obama's final day in office. The outgoing commander-in-chief has traditionally penned a letter to the incoming executive and left it for him in the Oval Office. But Obama has also written a letter to the American people.

In it, he thanks his fellow citizens for allowing him to serve. The full text is below, and you can also read it on the White House's blog.

My fellow Americans,

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. 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 honor of serving as your 44th. 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

Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I've pulled strength. I've seen neighbors 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.

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.

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.

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.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

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.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

Comments
About The Author
Elizabeth Angell
View Other Articles From Elizabeth Angell
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
We tested the new 'Search for Your Selfie' feature of the Google Arts & Culture app on T&C cover subjects and personalities.
 
Share
Beginning this week, we will keep you in the passenger's seat as we take a ride about town and share with you some of our favorite experiences.
 
Share
The Ayala Group CEO looks back at 2017, and shares his thoughts on current events and important issues.
 
Share
Outlets are reporting that Markle broke royal protocol in Wales. Here's why they're wrong.
 
Share
 
Share
More than 50 years of research points to the same conclusion.
 
Share
Five tips anyone can follow, from the author of The Diet Detox.
 
Share
The attempt was subsequently covered up by the New Zealand government.
 
Share
While visiting Cardiff, Wales, the soon-to-be royal carried a striking tasseled bag.
 
Share
Penelope Cruz, who dons a blonde wig for her role, is a spitting image of Donatella.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US