POLITICS

President Barack Obama Bids America A Heartfelt Farewell

This is what the end of a historic presidency looks like.

01/11/2017 12:41 am ET | Updated Jan 11, 2017

On Tuesday night at Chicago’s McCormick Place, Barack Obama walked out on a stage draped in red and blue and bid his final farewell as president of the United States.

In a speech that was at once candid, emotional and sobering, Obama reflected on what was achieved during his eight years in the Oval Office, and what needs to be done now to protect American democracy and values. 

“This is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, and they get engaged, and they come together to demand it,” Obama told the audience and the country.

“After eight years as your president, I still believe that. And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea ― our bold experiment in self-government.”

Below, see the images from Obama’s final national address as president, as he offered his parting words to a country he diligently served.

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    First lady Michelle Obama, left, and daughter Malia listen to the national anthem before President Barack Obama delivers his farewell address.
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    Eddie Vedder performs before Obama's farewell address.
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    Obama arrives to speak during his farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago.
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    Obama blasted "zero-sum" politics as he drew a sharp contrast with his successor in his farewell address Tuesday night, acknowledging that despite his historic election eight years ago, his vision for the country will exit the White House with him.
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    Supporters listen as Obama speaks.
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  • NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images
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    A protester holds up a sign reading "Pardon Us All Now!"
  • NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images
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    Michelle Obama, right, and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, hug as President Obama speaks.
  • NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images
    Obama hugs supporters after his farewell address.
  • JOSHUA LOTT via Getty Images
    Obama shed a tear during his speech while reflecting on his legacy and his family.
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
    Obama wipes his tears while speaking about his wife, Michelle.
  • NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images
    Michelle Obama holds her daughter Malia during President Obama's farewell address.
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  • NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images
    Michelle Obama hugs President Obama as daughter Malia looks on.
  • Scott Olson via Getty Images
    Obama and Vice President Joe Biden embrace after the president's farewell speech.
  • Scott Olson via Getty Images
    The Obama family embraces on stage following Barack Obama's farewell address.

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