a final farewell
After an emotional farewell speech and warm final press conference, President Barack Obama on Thursday took one more opportunity to thank the American people just one day before he leaves office. In a long-standing White House tradition, the outgoing president leaves his successor a personal note in the Oval Office containing words of wisdom based on what they've learned during their tenure — but, as Obama explained in a letter to the public, he wanted to go a step further.
"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," the president wrote. "Because all that I've learned in my time in office, I've learned from you."
The note goes on to offer Americans hope "when the arc of progress seems slow," an apparent nod to those feeling apprehensive about the incoming administration. Read the president's full parting message below. Kelly Gonsalves