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|Inaugural Address||Barack Hussein Obama|
|Page 1 of 5||
My fellow Americans, I stand before you today, humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices born by our ancestors.
I thank President Bush for his service to our nation [applause pause], as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
44 Americans have now taken the presidential oath. Words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity, and the still waters of peace. Yet every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds, and raging storms.
At these moments, America has carried on, not simply because of the vision or skill of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents. So it has been, so it must be with THIS generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood.
Our nation is at war with a far reaching network of violence and hatred.
Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices, and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered, our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings brings new evidence that the way we use energy strengthens our adversaries and threatens our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound is the sapping of confidence across our land, a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time, but know this America, THEY WILL BE MET! [applause pause]
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations, and worn out dogmas that for far too long have strangles our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.
The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit, to choose our better history, to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation, the God given promise that ALL are equal, ALL are free, and ALL deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
[longer pause for applause]
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given.
It must be earned.
Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.
It has not been the path for the faint hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame, rather it has been the risk takers, the doers, the makers of things, some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
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Barack Hussein Obama
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