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President Barack Obama's Inaugural Remarks on Jan. 20, 2009, At the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

President Barack Obama's Inaugural Remarks on Jan. 20, 2009, At the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

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Published by Jason Peck
Full transcript of President Barack Obama's Inaugural Remarks on Jan. 20, 2009, At the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Full transcript of President Barack Obama's Inaugural Remarks on Jan. 20, 2009, At the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

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Published by: Jason Peck on Jan 23, 2009
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05/10/2014

 
Full transcript as prepared for delivery of President Barack Obama's inaugural remarks on Jan. 20, 200, at t!e "nited #tates $apitol in %as!ington, &.$.(y fello) citi*ens+ stand !ere today !umbled by t!e task before us, grateful for t!e trust you !ave besto)ed, mindful of t!e sacrifices borne by our ancestors.  t!ank President Bus! for !is service to our nation, as )ell as t!e generosity and cooperation !e !as s!o)n t!roug!out t!is transition.Forty-four mericans !ave no) taken t!e presidential oat!. /!e )ords !ave been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and t!e still )aters of peace. et, every so often t!e oat! is taken amidst gat!ering clouds and raging storms. t t!ese moments, merica !as carried on not simply because of t!e skill or vision of t!ose in !ig! office, but because %e t!e People !ave remained fait!ful to t!e ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.#o it !as been. #o it must be )it! t!is generation of mericans./!at )e are in t!e midst of crisis is no) )ell understood. Our nation is at )ar, against a far-reac!ing net)ork of violence and !atred. Our economy is badly )eakened, a conse1uence of greed and irresponsibility on t!e part of some, but also our collective failure to make !ard c!oices and prepare t!e nation for a ne) age. omes !ave been lost3 4obs s!ed3 businesses s!uttered. Our !ealt! care is too costly3 our sc!ools fail too many3 and eac! day brings furt!er evidence t!at t!e )ays )e use energy strengt!en our adversaries and t!reaten our planet./!ese are t!e indicators of crisis, sub4ect to data and statistics. 5ess measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear t!at merica's decline is inevitable, and t!at t!e ne6t generation must lo)er its sig!ts./oday  say to you t!at t!e c!allenges )e face are real. /!ey are serious and t!ey are many./!ey )ill not be met easily or in a s!ort span of time. But kno) t!is, merica - t!ey )ill be met. On t!is day, )e gat!er because )e !ave c!osen !ope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
 
On t!is day, )e come to proclaim an end to t!e petty grievances and false promises, t!e recriminations and )orn out dogmas, t!at for far too long !ave strangled our politics.%e remain a young nation, but in t!e )ords of #cripture, t!e time !as come to set aside c!ildis! t!ings. /!e time !as come to reaffirm our enduring spirit3 to c!oose our better !istory3 to carry for)ard t!at precious gift, t!at noble idea, passed on from generation to generation+ t!e 7od-given promise t!at all are e1ual, all are free, and all deserve a c!ance to pursue t!eir full measure of !appiness.n reaffirming t!e greatness of our nation, )e understand t!at greatness is never a given. t must be earned. Our 4ourney !as never been one of s!ort-cuts or settling for less. t !as not been t!e pat! for t!e faint-!earted - for t!ose )!o prefer leisure over )ork, or seek only t!e pleasures of ric!es and fame. 8at!er, it !as been t!e risk-takers, t!e doers, t!e makers of t!ings - some celebrated but more often men and )omen obscure in t!eir labor, )!o !ave carried us up t!e long, rugged pat! to)ards prosperity and freedom.For us, t!ey packed up t!eir fe) )orldly possessions and traveled across oceans in searc! of a ne) life.For us, t!ey toiled in s)eats!ops and settled t!e %est3 endured t!e las! of t!e )!ip and plo)ed t!e !ard eart!.For us, t!ey foug!t and died, in places like $oncord and 7ettysburg3 9ormandy and :!e #a!n. /ime and again t!ese men and )omen struggled and sacrificed and )orked till t!eir !ands )ere ra) so t!at )e mig!t live a better life. /!ey sa) merica as bigger t!an t!e sum of our individual ambitions3 greater t!an all t!e differences of birt! or )ealt! or faction./!is is t!e 4ourney )e continue today. %e remain t!e most prosperous, po)erful nation on ;art!. Our )orkers are no less productive t!an )!en t!is crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed t!an t!ey )ere last )eek or last mont! or last year. Our capacity remains undiminis!ed. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narro) interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - t!at time !as surely passed. #tarting today, )e must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again t!e )ork of remaking merica.
 
For every)!ere )e look, t!ere is )ork to be done. /!e state of t!e economy calls for action, bold and s)ift, and )e )ill act - not only to create ne) 4obs, but to lay a ne) foundation for gro)t!. %e )ill build t!e roads and bridges, t!e electric grids and digital lines t!at feed our commerce and bind us toget!er. %e )ill restore science to its rig!tful place, and )ield tec!nology's )onders to raise !ealt! care's 1uality and lo)er its cost. %e )ill !arness t!e sun and t!e )inds and t!e soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. nd )e )ill transform our sc!ools and colleges and universities to meet t!e demands of a ne) age. ll t!is )e can do. nd all t!is )e )ill do.9o), t!ere are some )!o 1uestion t!e scale of our ambitions - )!o suggest t!at our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. /!eir memories are s!ort. For t!ey !ave forgotten )!at t!is country !as already done3 )!at free men and )omen can ac!ieve )!en imagination is 4oined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.%!at t!e cynics fail to understand is t!at t!e ground !as s!ifted beneat! t!em - t!at t!e stale political arguments t!at !ave consumed us for so long no longer apply. /!e 1uestion )e ask today is not )!et!er our government is too big or too small, but )!et!er it )orks - )!et!er it !elps families find 4obs at a decent )age, care t!ey can afford, a retirement t!at is dignified. %!ere t!e ans)er is yes, )e intend to move for)ard. %!ere t!e ans)er is no, programs )ill end. nd t!ose of us )!o manage t!e public's dollars )ill be !eld to account - to spend )isely, reform bad !abits, and do our business in t!e lig!t of day - because only t!en can )e restore t!e vital trust bet)een a people and t!eir government.9or is t!e 1uestion before us )!et!er t!e market is a force for good or ill. ts po)er to generate )ealt! and e6pand freedom is unmatc!ed, but t!is crisis !as reminded us t!at )it!out a )atc!ful eye, t!e market can spin out of control - and t!at a nation cannot prosper long )!en it favors only t!e prosperous. /!e success of our economy !as al)ays depended not 4ust on t!e si*e of our 7ross &omestic Product, but on t!e reac! of our prosperity3 on our ability to e6tend opportunity to every )illing !eart - not out of c!arity, but because it is t!e surest route to our common good.s for our common defense, )e re4ect as false t!e c!oice bet)een our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fat!ers, faced )it! perils )e can scarcely imagine, drafted a c!arter to assure t!e rule of la) and t!e rig!ts of man,

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