Date: 20 January 2017 05:51
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has penned a farewell letter to US citizens as their president, thanking them for having placed the honour on him to serve the country as its 44th president.
Mr Obama told the people that their goodness, resilience and hope had been the source of his own hope.
He called on Americans to “throw ourselves into that work — the joyous work of citizenship” despite the differences in party, or the divisiveness that Donald Trump’s election as president has brought in the country.
This is also coupled with FBI reports that Russian hackers had interfered with the electoral process after they hacked into the Democratic Party’s computer systems and leaked information just weeks before the presidential elections.
As president, Obama has taken advantage of new communication tools to allow citizens easy access to him. His @Potus Twitter handle was the first of any sitting president and even held the first Twitter Town Hall at the White House.
He is also on Facebook, has been on numerous talk shows and has even read mean tweets against him on the Jimmy Kimmel television show.
This letter is his final personal commune with US citizens, just before he crosses back to being a “normal” citizen again.
The letter has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, has been read widely on the White House website and was sent to everyone on the White House email list.
And at the end of the letter, Obama welcomed those who want to stay in touch with him to sign up on the Obama Foundation website. The foundation is still working on what course it would like to focus on.
This is truly the end of a presidency that will be long remembered for its personal touch.
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.
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.
President Barack Obama
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