On January 17, First Lady Michelle Obama turned 48. In honor of her birthday, ESSENCE editor-in-chief Constance C.R. White penned a heartfelt letter thanking her for her contributions to society. In addition, we asked you to write your own letters to the First Lady.

As promised, we mailed those letters directly to Mrs. Obama. Below, you’ll find her response to ESSENCE readers.

The letter reads:

Thank you for your warm birthday wishes. It means so much to know people were thinking of me on my special day, and I hope you know how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

It is my honor to serve our Nation as First Lady, and I have been overwhelmed by the kindness so many have extended to me and my family. Since its founding, ESSENCE magazine has played an important role in promoting diversity and opening new doors to opportunity for young Americans, and it is an honor to be mentioned amongst the pages of such a publication.

Again, thank you for your birthday wishes, and I wish you all the very best.

-Michelle Obama


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