In just a few short weeks, President-elect Donald Trump will be taking the oath of the Oval Office. Outgoing President Barack Obama will subsequently take his place in history.  For better or worse, the past eight years have seen its far share of highs and lows. Obama reflects on his legacy in an open letter. Ending his tenure on a high note, he writes “a new future is ours to write.” Check out the introduction below and read the full letter here.

To my fellow Americans,

Eight years ago, America faced a moment of peril unlike any we’d seen in decades.

A spiraling financial crisis threatened to plunge an economy in recession into a deep depression. The very heartbeat of American manufacturing — the American auto industry — was on the brink of collapse. In some communities, nearly one in five Americans were out of work. Nearly 180,000 American troops were serving in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the mastermind of the worst terror attack on American soil remained at large. And on challenges from health care to climate change, we’d been kicking the can down the road for way too long.

But in the depths of that winter, on January 20, 2009, I stood before you and swore a sacred oath. I told you that day that the challenges we faced would not be met easily or in a short span of time — but they would be met. And after eight busy years, we’ve met them — because of you.