Tarun Reflex

January 27, 2009

Obama : Inauguration Speech

Filed under: obama inauguration speech,USA — reflextarun @ 6:13 pm

Following is the transcript of President Barack Obama’s Inaugural
Address, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions:

PRESIDENT BARACK Thank you. Thank you.

CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!

My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us,
grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices
borne by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation…


… as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout
this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

The 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 skill or vision 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 against 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 further
evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and
threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics.
Less measurable, but no less profound, is a 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.


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 strangled 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.


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.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled
across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in
sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and
plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg;
Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked
till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They
saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions;
greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous,
powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when
this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and
services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last
year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat,
of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions —
that time has surely passed.

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and
begin again the work of remaking America.


For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.

The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will
act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for

We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital
lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.

We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s
wonders to raise health care’s quality…


… and lower its costs.

We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars
and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges
and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who
suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their
memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has
already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is
joined to common purpose and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted
beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us
for so long, no longer apply.

MR. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big
or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find
jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer
is no, programs will end.

And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to
account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in
the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust
between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good
or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.

But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the
market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it
favors only the prosperous.

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of
our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the
ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of
charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.


As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our
safety and our ideals.

Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine,
drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a
charter expanded by the blood of generations.

Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for
expedience’s sake.

And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today,
from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was
born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man,
woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are
ready to lead once more.


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not
just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and
enduring convictions.

They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it
entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows
through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of
our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of
humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles once
more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort,
even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We’ll
begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned
peace in Afghanistan.

With old friends and former foes, we’ll work tirelessly to lessen the
nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.

And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and
slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, “Our spirit is
stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will
defeat you.”


For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and
nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from
every end of this Earth.

And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and
segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more
united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday
pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world
grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that
America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual
interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame
their society’s ills on the West, know that your people will judge you
on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those…


To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the
silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history,
but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your


To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make
your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved
bodies and feed hungry minds.

And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we
can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our
borders, nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to
effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with
humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol
far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us,
just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but
because they embody the spirit of service: a willingness to find
meaning in something greater than themselves.

And yet, at this moment, a moment that will define a generation, it is
precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the
faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation

It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break; the
selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a
friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.

It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke,
but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally
decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may
be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and
hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and
patriotism — these things are old.

These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress
throughout our history.

What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of
us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of
every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the
world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize
gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to
the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a
difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on
us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women
and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration
across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60
years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now
stand before you to take a most sacred oath.


So let us mark this day in remembrance of who we are and how far we
have traveled.

In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band
of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river.

The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was
stained with blood.

At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the
father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when
nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the
country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it.”

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our
hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue,
let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may
come; let it be said by our children’s children that when we were
tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back
nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace
upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it
safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you.


And God bless the United States of America.



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