The message came from the Vice President, not the President himself.
"In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic," a grim-looking Suleiman said. "He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor."
With that, the protesters in Egypt claimed victory. Mubarak passed power to the military. The crowd in Tahrir Square erupted with cheers and tears of joy as Vice President Suleiman read the statement from Mubarak.
As history is made, Mubarak leaves his position after three decades of iron handed rule. The Armed Forces Supreme Council plans to lift the emergency orders, not pursue the people protesting but warned of anyone causing trouble, and assured the people that they could handle the situation on the ground.
President Obama spoke about Mubarak's resignation:
"Today belongs to the people of Egypt," Obama declared at the White House. In Cairo, Egyptians celebrated into the night.
Obama's only mention of Mubarak, a longtime strong U.S. ally, was at the beginning of his remarks: "By stepping down, President Mubarak responded to the Egyptian people's hunger for change," he said.
Obama singled out the Egyptian military for praise, saying it acted helpfully as a "caretaker" in defusing the situation and securing the country.
"We saw a military who would not fire bullets at the people they were sworn to protect," he said. But, he cautioned, it "will now have to ensure a tradition that is credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people."
He said that means lifting Egypt's hated 30-year-old "emergency" police powers laws, revising the constitution to permit greater political diversity, enacting other safeguards to "make the changes irreversible and laying out a clear path to elections that are fair and free."
The Egyptian military, it should be noted, was trained by the U.S. so they are a very professional force. The Egyptian people respect their military and most families have a military member retired or active duty.
The real struggle begins now. Who will step into lead the largest Arab population? Will the Muslim Brotherhood fill the vacuum? The people of Egypt have no foundation of freedom, no history of it. Will they chose to live under Sharia law? These are the tough questions and these decisions by the Egyptian people come next.