Chicago, Nov.17 : U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on Sunday resigned as the junior Senator from Illinois and told his constituency in a thank-you and farewell letter that he was ending one journey to begin another.
Recalling his time in community organizing on Chicago''''s South Side, his service in the state Senate, he quoted Abraham Lincoln, saying he wanted to take what he learned from the state to use at the White House.
"The challenges we face as a nation are now more numerous and difficult than when I first arrived in Chicago, but I have no doubt that we can meet them," Fox News quoted Obama as saying in his letter, while asking for the support and prayers of his home state as he heads to the White House.
"I will never forget, and will forever be grateful, to the men and women of this great state who made my life in public service possible. More than two decades ago, I arrived in Illinois as a young man eager to do my part in building a better America. On the South Side of Chicago, I worked with families who had lost jobs and lost hope when the local steel plant closed. It wasn''''t easy, but we slowly rebuilt those neighborhoods one block at a time, and in the process I received the best education I ever had," Obama said in his letter.
It''''s an education that led me to organize a voter registration project in Chicago, stand up for the rights of Illinois families as an attorney and eventually run for the Illinois state Senate. It was there that I learned to disagree without being disagreeable; to seek compromise while holding fast to those principles that can never be compromised, and to always assume the best in people instead of the worst, he added.
Recalling what Lincoln, another son of Illinois had said when he left for Washington to be President, Obama said: "To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything." Today, I feel the same, and like Lincoln, I ask for your support, your prayers, and for us to "confidently hope that all will yet be well."
With your help, along with the service and sacrifice of Americans across the nation who are hungry for change and ready to bring it about, I have faith that all will in fact be well. And it is with that faith, and the high hopes I have for the enduring power of the American idea, that I offer the people of my beloved home a very affectionate thanks.