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You made me a better man: Obama in thank you letter to America

By Lalit K Jha
January 20, 2017 09:07 IST
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On the eve of him passing on the baton to Donald Trump, the outgoing United States President Barack Obama wrote a parting letter to his countrymen thanking them for their support and telling that they made him a "better man" and "better President".

Before he leaves the White House one final time Friday morning to attend the swearing-in ceremony of his successor Trump at the Capitol Hill overlooking the majestic National Mall, Obama will leave a parting letter for the 45th President of the United States.

"...before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honour 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," Obama said in his letter to his countrymen.

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

"I've taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I've seen our scientists help a paralysed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again," he said.

"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 recognised as equal to our own," he added.

"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," said the outgoing US President.

Obama said he has seen the American people, in all their decency, determination, good humour, 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.

I'll be right there with you every step of the way," Obama 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," said the 44th American President in his final letter to his countrymen.

Photograph: Reuters

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