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Rediff.com  » News » 'It's been an honour to serve you, I won't stop': Obama's parting words

'It's been an honour to serve you, I won't stop': Obama's parting words

Last updated on: January 11, 2017 09:56 IST

In front of thousands in his adoptive home town of Chicago, Barack Obama gave a rousing speech in which he asked citizens to be optimistic and hopeful of the American future.

Here are highlights from the speech.

(Read the full text of his speech here)

IMAGE: US President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he arrives to deliver his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois. Photograph: John Gress/Reuters
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 
Democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity; that we rise and fall as one
In 10 days, our country'll witness hallmark of democracy, peaceful transition from one freely elected president to another
America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started
I committed to Trump that my administration would ensure a smooth transition.
Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society

Here are the most important words in Obama's final speech

Have lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10, 20,or even 30 years ago, no matter what folks say
We are going to talk pass each other if we don't have the will to learn and understand that your opponent might have a fair point.
We must invest in children of immigrants, because those brown kids, represent growing share of the workforce.
Although Boston and Orlando remind us of how dangerous radicalisation can be,our law enforcement agencies are more effective than ever
IS will be destroyed, no one who threatens America will ever be safe
I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans
We weaken ties when we write off whole system as inevitably corrupt and blame leaders we elect without examining our own role in electing them
Michelle, for the past twenty-five years, you have been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend
And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you (Michelle) as a role model. You've made me and the country proud
To Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton, you were first choice I made as a nominee, and it was the best. Not just because you have been a great Vice President, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother
I do have one final ask of you as your President, same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago
I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours
My fellow Americans, it has been the honour of my life to serve you
Thank you. God bless you. And may God continue to bless the United States of America
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