President Barack Obama makes his final farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago. Arriving at O’hare airport on Airforce One Tuesday, early evening was First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia and Vice President Joe Biden along with wife, Jill Biden.

Making a final journey as the 44th President of the United States, expressways and local South Side streets were cleared as traffic stood at a complete when the 20-vehicle caravan made its way to Valois Restaurant in Hyde Park. There, President Obama conducted a one-on-one interview with NBC anchorman, Lester Holt before proceeding to give his farewell speech at McCormick Place.

Nearly 20,000 attendees packed the nearly standing-room only space in the East wing of the McCormick Place as VIP attendees sat upfront to hang onto the President’s every word. There were various groups that traveled from far and near to be a part of history including celebrity sightings from Sharon Stone to Empire’s Jussie Smollett–local and state dignitaries. Opening up the ceremony was a special performance by Hip hop/R&B singer, BJ the Chicago Kid showcasing belting out the national anthem is a smart blue suit.

Once President Obama hit the stage, the electric energy of emotions ran throughout the audience. At times, the crowd’s applause was so loud that it impossible to hear him but there were moments that silence rippled throughout the venue–knowing this would be his last time addressing his hometown as Chief of Staff.

In his signature style of class, poise and honor–he addressed the various strides that he and his administration has made over the last eight years in protecting America’s democracy. His emotions got the best of him when he addressed his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia who sat in the front row along with Vice President Joe Biden, wife Jill and his mother-in-law–Marian Shields Robinson.

“Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion.  You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily.  Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”

After the speech, the Obama family took time out to walk along the barricades, greeting and shaking hands with supporters and friends. The scene was definitely historic and we knew it was the end of an era of class that will not be duplicated in the White House for a very long time.

Follow Mary L. Datcher on Twitter

 

1. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Barack Obama arrives at O’hare airport on Airforce One.

2. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Barack Obama exits Airforce One arriving at O’hare airport.

3. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

First Lady Michelle Obama exits Airforce One at O’hare airport.

4. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter, Malia Obama walks toward vehicles from Airforce One at O’hare airport.

5. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

Well wishers wait for President Obama on 53rd St. in downtown Hyde Park in town for his farewell speech.

6. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

BJ the Chicago Kid performs the national anthem at President Barack Obama’s Chicago farewell speech at McCormick Place.

7. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

Vice President Joe Biden and wife, Jill Biden at President Obama’s Chicago farewell speech.

8. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

Actor/Singer, Jussie Smollett is one of thousands in attendance at President Obama’s Chicago farewell speech.

9. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

Congressman Danny K. Davis (center) attends President Obama’s farewell speech at McCormick Place.

10. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

Pictured l-r: Vice President Joe Biden, Jill Biden, First Lady Obama, Malia Obama, Marian Shields Robinson

11. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White (center) looks on as President Obama gives his farewell speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.

12. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

The Obama family take their final bow as the first family in Chicago after farewell speech at the McCormick Place in Chicago.

13. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

Malia Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

14. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Obama walks onstage at McCormick Place to begin his farewell speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.

15. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Obama farewell speech at McCormick Place/Chicago.

16. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter, Malia Obama at President Obama’s farewell speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.

17. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

Malia Obama proudly stands onstate with father, President Barack Obama after his farewell speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.

18. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Obama greets and exchanges words with Rev. Jesse Jackson after his farewell speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.

19. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

Malia Obama

20. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Obama greets attendees after his farewell speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.

21. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Obama tears up as he thanks wife, First Lady Michelle Obama for many years of support at his farewell speech in Chicago.

22. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Obama greets audience after farewell speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.

23. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hug after his farewell speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.

24. Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech

President Barack Obama and wife, First Lady Michelle Obama exits stage after a rousing farewell speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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