The 44th President of the United States of America on Tuesday delivered his farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago, moving the citizens to tears. The POTUS who ended an era of his administration with the words, “Yes, we can, yes we did, yes we can,” in his valedictory speech argued that his faith in America has been confirmed and that he ended his tenure has been inspired by "boundless capacity" for reinvention. Obama also quoted the famous and unforgettable lines by the character Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mocking Bird, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
To the American citizens:
Tonight, it’s my turn to say thanks. Every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man. I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it. It’s the insistence that...We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union. Change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.
Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10, or 20, or 30 years ago, no matter what folks say.
If we’re unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants...we diminish the prospects of our own children. Last year, incomes rose for all races, all age groups, for men and for women.
On opportunities ahead:
Going forward, we must uphold laws against discrimination – in hiring, in housing, in education and the criminal justice system. For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles…surrounded by people who look like us.
Eight years of POTUS:
In the past eight years we've: Cut dependence on foreign oil, Doubled renewable energy, Signed the Paris Agreement
On the future generation:
Without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate...climate change; they’ll be busy dealing with its effects.
No foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years. We've taken out tens of thousands of terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. ISIL will be destroyed, no one who threatens America will ever be safe.
Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted. All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions. When voting rates are some of the lowest among advanced democracies, we should make it easier, not harder, to vote. When Congress is dysfunctional, we should draw our districts to encourage politicians to cater to common sense and not rigid extremes. Our democracy...needs you. Not just when there’s an election...but over the full span of a lifetime
To his staff at the White House:
I’ve watched you grow up, get married, have kids, and start incredible new journeys of your own.
To wife and First Lady, Michelle Obama:
Michelle...for the past twenty-five years, you have been not only my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend. A new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model
To daughters Malia and Sasha:
Malia and Sasha...you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful. "Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.
To Vice-President, Joe Biden:
To Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favorite son: you were the first decision I made as a nominee & the best. Not just because you have been a great Vice President, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother.
To...every American who lived & breathed the hard work of change—you are the best supporters and organizers anyone could hope for. You know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, something not to fear but to embrace. My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. We must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.
Thank you for everything. My last ask is the same as my first. I'm asking you to believe—not in my ability to create change, but in yours.— President Obama (@POTUS) January 11, 2017