Barack Obama revealed how he is celebrating his 61st birthday with a sweet tribute to his late mother, Ann Dunham.
On Twitter on Thursday, the former US president announced that the water garden of the Obama Presidential Center, located in Chicago, Illinois, will be dedicated and named after Dunham.
In the post, Obama shared how his mother influenced him, saying the garden will be a place for visitors to “reflect.”
“My mother, Ann Dunham, was the biggest influence on my life and shaped me into the person I am today,” he wrote. “I am proud to announce that the Water Garden at the Obama Presidential Center will be named after her.”
“The Ann Dunham Water Garden will be a special place for visitors and community members to reflect,” he continued. “It will also feature an incredible new sculpture by Maya Lin, whose work I have long admired.”
According to a blog post written by Obama Foundation Chief Executive Officer Valerie Jarrett, the company will “launch the Obama alumni campaign to fund the Water Garden.”
Jarrett also praised Dunham’s beliefs in “the power of human connection and the inherent dignity in all of us,” which “her children were instilled,” before noting how the garden will be a “special place.”
“The Water Garden will honor the life and legacy of Ann Dunham, making her name part of the Obama Presidential Center experience forever,” she wrote. “The Ann Dunham Water Garden is going to be a special place – where families can enjoy a quiet moment of reflection, kids can splash around in the water fountain and the community can come together for intimate performances.”
In a press release, Obama shared how this garden is the “most appropriate way” to commemorate his mother.
“I could imagine her sitting on one of the benches on a beautiful summer afternoon, smiling and watching a bunch of kids running through the fountain, and I thought that would capture who she was and just about everything,” he said. .
Dunham, born Stanley Ann Dunham, died of ovarian cancer in 1995.
The Ann Dunham Water Garden is just one of several sites that will be part of the Obama Presidential Center, which began construction in September 2021.
Some spaces under development include the “Opening the White House” exhibit, named in honor of Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, and “The Eleanor Roosevelt Fruit & Vegetable Garden.”
In addition to celebrating his mother, Obama was also honored by his loved ones on Thursday. On social media, the former First Lady posted a throwback photo of her husband, writing: “Happy birthday to my honey! Life with you gets better every year. You always make me proud. I love you.”