Obama pens goodbye letter to the American people

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US President Barack Obama gives his final presidential press conference on January 18, 2017, at the White House in Washington,DC. President Obama has given over 150 news conferences since becoming head of state eight years ago. His last is taking place two days before he turns over the Oval Office to president-elect Donald Trump. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama penned an emotional public letter, published Thursday, thanking Americans and encouraging them to participate into “daily acts of citizenship.”

“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.”

**Read the entire letter posted to Facebook, below**

The President recalled tragedies such as the Charleston church massacre and celebrations such as military graduations. He also celebrated gay and lesbian Americans who now have their marriages recognized and ill people who now have access to health care.

Obama went on to challenge voters — regardless of political affiliation — to commit themselves to improving the common good.

“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.”

Obama has said he will remain engaged in issues he cares about in his post-White House life.

“I’ll be right there with you every step of the way,” he wrote. “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,” he added.

Here is President Obama’s entire letter:

“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.

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.”

Read more on President Obama, here.