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|First Inaugural Address||Richard Milhous Nixon|
First Inaugural Address
|Page 3 of 4||
To match the magnitude of our tasks, we need the energies of our people--enlisted not only in grand enterprises, but more importantly in those small, splendid efforts that make headlines in the neighborhood newspaper instead of the national journal.
With these, we can build a great cathedral of the spirit--each of us raising it one stone at a time, as he reaches out to his neighbor, helping, caring, doing.
I do not offer a life of uninspiring ease. I do not call for a life of grim sacrifice. I ask you to join in a high adventure--one as rich as humanity itself, and as exciting as the times we live in.
The essence of freedom is that each of us shares in the shaping of his own destiny.
Until he has been part of a cause larger than himself, no man is truly whole.
The way to fulfillment is in the use of our talents; we achieve nobility in the spirit that inspires that use.
As we measure what can be done, we shall promise only what we know we can produce, but as we chart our goals we shall be lifted by our dreams.
No man can be fully free while his neighbor is not. To go forward at all is to go forward together.
This means black and white together, as one nation, not two. The laws have caught up with our conscience. What remains is to give life to what is in the law: to ensure at last that as all are born equal in dignity before God, all are born equal in dignity before man.
As we learn to go forward together at home, let us also seek to go forward together with all mankind.
Let us take as our goal: where peace is unknown, make it welcome; where peace is fragile, make it strong; where peace is temporary, make it permanent.
After a period of confrontation, we are entering an era of negotiation.
Let all nations know that during this administration our lines of communication will be open.
We seek an open world--open to ideas, open to the exchange of goods and people--a world in which no people, great or small, will live in angry isolation.
We cannot expect to make everyone our friend, but we can try to make no one our enemy.
Those who would be our adversaries, we invite to a peaceful competition--not in conquering territory or extending dominion, but in enriching the life of man.
As we explore the reaches of space, let us go to the new worlds together--not as new worlds to be conquered, but as a new adventure to be shared.
With those who are willing to join, let us cooperate to reduce the burden of arms, to strengthen the structure of peace, to lift up the poor and the hungry.
But to all those who would be tempted by weakness, let us leave no doubt that we will be as strong as we need to be for as long as we need to be.
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|First Inaugural Address
Richard Milhous Nixon
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