President Barack Obama's time as chief executive of the United States is nearing its end. What better way to honor his service to the country than by recalling the most memorable and powerful remarks he made during his presidency.
It is important to note that President Obama faced great odds and criticism during his eight years in the Oval Office, but it cannot be denied that he had some great insights to share not only with his fellow politicians and critics, but also with the millions of citizens whose welfare he was responsible for.
On Effecting Change
Before he was even elected president, Barack Obama already said the three important words that would define his administration: "Yes, we can."
These three words allowed him to push forward with decisions for the greater good of America's citizens and also used to remind each and every one that it is not one person in power but the regular citizens working towards a goal who effect change.
Democracy is not a spectator sport. Don't give up your power to shape the future of the country we love. Vote: https://t.co/sUxB8TLc5r
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 27, 2016
He reiterated his point on democracy and the power of citizens to effect change during a conversation at the North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro in October.
"I think that change happens typically not because somebody on high decides it's going to happen, but rather because at a grassroots level enough people come together that they force the system to change," he said.
On Pushing Forward Through Difficult Times
When the Boston Marathon tragedy happened in 2013, many lives were shattered and lost unexpectedly. However, despite the heartaches and anger many felt, President Obama spoke during the Interfaith Service in Boston, MA to remind the citizens that they are not isolated in their pain.
"That's what you've taught us, Boston. That's what you've reminded us -- to push on. To persevere. To not grow weary. To not get faint. Even when it hurts. Even when our heart aches. We summon the strength that maybe we didn't even know we had, and we carry on. We finish the race. " he said.
On America's Diversity
President Obama also shared his wise input on what leadership mean and what America stands for. During his State of the Union Address on Jan. 13, he highlighted several issues his administration faced and how they were addressed. Of course, one of the big issues facing America is the senseless violence that targets not only America as a nation but the people who seek refuge in the U.S. who become targets of hate when extremist groups attack.
"Leadership means a wise application of military power, and rallying the world behind causes that are right [...] That's American strength. That's American leadership [...] And that's why we need to reject any politics -- any politics -- that targets people because of race or religion [...] 'We the People.' Our Constitution begins with those three simple words, words we've come to recognize mean all the people, not just some; words that insist we rise and fall together," he stated.
On Setting Aside Differences
When President-elect Donald Trump was finally announced as the winner of the 2016 elections, President Obama made sure to contact and congratulate him on his win, as well as assure the incoming president that his team will do everything for a smooth transition. After all, they both ran for presidency to serve the nation they love so it is only right for them to set aside their differences for the good of America.
"Now, it is no secret that the President-elect and I have some pretty significant differences [...] one thing you realize quickly in this job is that the presidency, and the vice presidency, is bigger than any of us [...] So I have instructed my team to [...] work as hard as we can to make sure that this is a successful transition for the President-elect -- because we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country," he said in an address at the Rose Garden on Nov. 9.