President Barack Obama delivered his farewell speech in Chicago Tuesday night, expressing gratitude for all the men and women who serve and have served in the military and urging all Americans to protect democracy.
“Protecting our way of life, that’s not just the job of our military,” Obama said. “Democracy can buckle when it gives into fear. So just as we citizens must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.”
Obama called on Americans to uphold values such as tolerance and to keep fighting for the rights of all citizens, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.
“So let’s be vigilant, but not afraid,” Obama urged. “ISIL will try to kill innocent people. But they cannot defeat America unless we betray our Constitution and our principles in the fight.”
Obama declared it an honor to have worked for the American people these last eight years and promised to do his part in the transition over to President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
“I committed to President-elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition,” Obama said, “just as President Bush did for me.”
Obama will hand over the reins to Trump on Jan. 20, when Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.