"We're almost at the end."
Her last words as First Lady, and they were familiar ones. While the United States still deals with deep division, Michelle Obama was talking hope and the need for unity.
She did not mention Donald Trump by name, but during the election campaign was the most effective voice against him.
Michelle Obama transformed the role of First Lady, supporting her husband Barack through two bruising terms and using the platform to champion her own causes.
Education was her passion. Ms Obama developed a special bond with Mulbury School in east London, visiting it to launch her global initiative, Let Girls Learn.
Fittingly, Ms Obama's tearful last speech was delivered to a White House room full of educators who've worked on her campaigns.
Many would like her to run for the presidency, an option she has ruled out. But she promises the campaigns closest to her heart will continue after she leaves the White House.