With only 12 days left of Barack Obama’s presidency, it’s no surprise many Americans are getting emotional. And who can blame them?
As we prepare for the end of an era, the White House has shared a touching video in which everyone from celebrities to activists say goodbye to Obama by sharing their favorite memories of him. Figures including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen DeGeneres, John Legend, and Kerry Washington reflect on Obama’s time in office, and how it personally affected them.
“I never cried before from an election result,” Legend said in the video.
In another part, Washington also touched on the impact Obama’s 2008 victory had on her. “You really felt those first three words of the Constitution, “We the People. It was one of the first times in my life that I felt like I was really part of that ‘We.’”
Others reflected on specific stances and policy moves Obama made during his two terms. “When he just changed all the rules on the table in regards to Cuba with the most succinct motivation imaginable, which is ‘What we’ve been doing hasn’t worked’ — which made all the sense in the world," Hanks said in the video.
“When I was at the UN and I heard our president say that climate change is the most important issue facing, not only this generation but also future generations, it was inspiring,” DiCaprio explained.
Samuel L. Jackson was particularly moved by the president’s health care policies.
“The moment that we got the Affordable Care Act passed, because I have relatives that can’t afford health insurance,” he said, “so it was really a great thing to know that if something happened to them, they could get cared for.”
DeGeneres shared a more lighthearted memory and defended the president’s dance moves: “The CVS experience with Michelle [Obama] was pretty cool and dancing with Barack at his birthday party,” she said. “And he’s a good dancer. He should not get any flack for that. You’re a good dancer.”
You can watch the full video, titled Yes We Can: Your Most Memorable Moments from the Obama Presidency, above. Obama is scheduled to give his final speech as president Tuesday (Jan. 10) in Chicago.