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.