In a speech filled with emotion,
President Barack Obama bid farewell to the nation, and sought to provide
comfort to a country reeling under rapid economic changes, persistent security
threats, and the election of Donald Trump.
Throughout the speech, Obama was
forceful at times, and tearful at others. His parting speech which he delivered
in his hometown of Chicago pondered on the many trials and challenges the U.S.
faces as Obama prepares to make his final exit. For the newer challenges, Obama
shared his vision as how to overcome them, and for the insistent problems which
he was not able to overcome, he was optimistic that they will eventually be
Speaking before an audience of
about 18,000, the President acknowledged that the path towards progress have
been uneven. "The work of democracy
has always been hard, contentious and sometimes bloody. For every two steps
forward, it often feels we take one step back."
However, Obama maintained that he
had full faith in the American vision which has been strengthened by what he
has witnessed in the last eight years as President, adding “The future should
During the course of his farewell
address, Obama turned emotional as he paid rich tributes to the sacrifices made
by his wife, and by his daughters, who were young girls when they entered the
White House and now prepare to leave as young women. He was seen wiping away
tears while showering praises on his wife Michelle for taking on her role "with
grace and grit and style and good humour" and for making the White House
"a place that belongs to everybody."
He referred to Michelle Obama as his “best friend”, his wife, and the
First Lady -- at the emotional close of the farewell address in his adoptive
city of Chicago on Tuesday.