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|Second Inaugural Address||Richard Milhous Nixon|
Second Inaugural Address
|Page 1 of 4||
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, Senator Cook, Mrs. Eisenhower, and my fellow citizens of this great and good country we share together:
When we met here four years ago, America was bleak in spirit, depressed by the prospect of seemingly endless war abroad and of destructive conflict at home.
As we meet here today, we stand on the threshold of a new era of peace in the world.
The central question before us is: How shall we use that peace? Let us resolve that this era we are about to enter will not be what other postwar periods have so often been: a time of retreat and isolation that leads to stagnation at home and invites new danger abroad.
Let us resolve that this will be what it can become: a time of great responsibilities greatly borne, in which we renew the spirit and the promise of America as we enter our third century as a nation.
This past year saw far-reaching results from our new policies for peace. By continuing to revitalize our traditional friendships, and by our missions to Peking and to Moscow, we were able to establish the base for a new and more durable pattern of relationships among the nations of the world. Because of America's bold initiatives, 1972 will be long remembered as the year of the greatest progress since the end of World War II toward a lasting peace in the world.
The peace we seek in the world is not the flimsy peace which is merely an interlude between wars, but a peace which can endure for generations to come.
It is important that we understand both the necessity and the limitations of America's role in maintaining that peace.
Unless we in America work to preserve the peace, there will be no peace.
Unless we in America work to preserve freedom, there will be no freedom. But let us clearly understand the new nature of America's role, as a result of the new policies we have adopted over these past four years.
We shall respect our treaty commitments.
We shall support vigorously the principle that no country has the right to impose its will or rule on another by force.
We shall continue, in this era of negotiation, to work for the limitation of nuclear arms, and to reduce the danger of confrontation between the great powers.
We shall do our share in defending peace and freedom in the world. But we shall expect others to do their share.
The time has passed when America will make every other nation's conflict our own, or make every other nation's future our responsibility, or presume to tell the people of other nations how to manage their own affairs.
Just as we respect the right of each nation to determine its own future, we also recognize the responsibility of each nation to secure its own future.
Just as America's role is indispensable in preserving the world's peace, so is each nation's role indispensable in preserving its own peace.
Together with the rest of the world, let us resolve to move forward from the beginnings we have made. Let us continue to bring down the walls of hostility which have divided the world for too long, and to build in their place bridges of understanding--so that despite profound differences between systems of government, the people of the world can be friends.
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|Second Inaugural Address
Richard Milhous Nixon
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