ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: Summoning up images of the Berlin wall coming down, the uprising in Indonesia, and Gandhi leading his people down the path of justice President Obama said today that over the last few weeks in Egypt “the wheel of history turned at a blinding pace” and now the country “will never be the same.”
“There are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place. This is one of those moments. This is one of those times. The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same."
Speaking from the Grand Foyer of the White House the president said that President Mubarak has responded to the Egyptian people, in making the move to resign today.
“But this is not the end of Egypt's transition,” Obama warned, “It's a beginning. I'm sure there will be difficult days ahead, and many questions remain unanswered. “
The president said that the Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than a genuine democracy must be formed.
“We saw a new generation emerge, a generation that uses their own creativity and talent and technology to call for a government that represented their hopes and not their fears, a government that is responsive to their boundless aspirations.” President Obama said, “And I know that a democratic Egypt can advance its role of responsible leadership not only in the region but around the world.”
The president praised the military saying they have served “patriotically and responsibly” as a caretaker of the state which must turn now to ensure a transition is “credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people.”
“That means protecting the rights of Egypt's citizens, lifting the emergency law, revising the constitution and other laws to make this change irreversible, and laying out a clear path to elections that are fair and free.”
Reiterating the White House’s call, the president said that the transition must being all of Egypt’s voices to the table.
“Egyptians have inspired us, and they've done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence; for in Egypt it was the moral force of nonviolence -- not terrorism, not mindless killing, but nonviolence, moral force -- that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.”
The president noted that the Tahrir Square, the stage for the protests – means “liberation.”
“It is a word that speaks to that something in our souls that cries out for freedom. And forevermore, it will remind us of the Egyptian people: of what they did, of the things that they stood for, and how they changed their country, and in doing so changed the world.”