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  • >> THANK YOU.

  • >> THANK YOU.

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  • VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN, MR. CHIEF

  • JUSTICE, MEMBERS OF THE UNITED

  • STATES CONGRESS, DISTINGUISHED

  • GUESTS, AND FELLOW CITIZENS,

  • EACH TIME WE GATHER TO

  • INAUGURATE A PRESIDENT, BEAR

  • WITNESS TO THE ENDURING STRENGTH

  • OF OUR CONSTITUTION.

  • WE AFFIRM OUR PROMISE TO

  • DEMOCRACY.

  • WE LEARN THAT WHAT BINDS THIS

  • NATION TOGETHER IS NOT THE

  • COLORS OF OUR SKIN, OR THE

  • TENETS OF OUR FAITH, OR THE

  • ORIGINS OF OUR NAMES.

  • WHAT MAKES US EXCEPTIONAL, WHAT

  • MAKES US AMERICAN, IS OUR

  • ALLEGIANCE TO AN IDEA

  • ARTICULATED IN A DECLARATION

  • MADE MORE THAN TWO CENTURIES

  • AGO.

  • WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE

  • SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE

  • CREATED EQUAL.

  • THAT THEY ARE ENDOWD BY THEIR

  • CREATOR, WITH CERTAIN ENAILIBLE

  • RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE

  • LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF

  • HAPPINESS.

  • TODAY, WE CONTINUE A

  • NEVER-ENDING JOURNEY, TO BRIDGE

  • THE MEANING OF THOSE WORDS WITH

  • THE REALITIES OF OUR TIME.

  • FOR HISTORY TELLS US, THAT WHILE

  • THESE TRUTHS MAY BE

  • SELF-EVIDENT, THEY'VE NEVER BEEN

  • SELF-EXECUTING.

  • WHILE FREEDOM IS A GIFT FROM

  • GOD, IT MUST BE SECURED BY HIS

  • PEOPLE HERE ON EARTH.

  • THE PATRIOTS OF 1776 DID NOT

  • FIGHT TO REPLACE THE TYRANNY OF

  • A KING WITH THE PRIVILEGES OF A

  • FEW OR THE RULE OF A MOB.

  • THEY GAVE TO US A REPUBLIC, A

  • GOVERNMENT OF AND BY AND FOR THE

  • PEOPLE.

  • AND TRUSTING EACH GENERATION TO

  • KEEP SAFE OUR FOUNDING CREED.

  • IN 4 MORE THAN 200 YEARS, WE

  • HAVE.

  • BLOOD DRAWN BY FLASH AND BY

  • SWORD, WE KNOW NO UNION ON

  • PRINCIPLES OF LIBERTY AND

  • EQUALITY COULD SURVIVE

  • HALF-SLAVE AND HALF-FREE.

  • WE MADE OURSELVES ANEW, AND

  • VOWED TO MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER.

  • TOGETHER, WE DETERMINED THAT A

  • MODERN ECONOMY REQUIRES

  • RAILROADS AND HIGHWAYS, SCHOOLS,

  • ECONOMISTS TO TRAIN OUR WORKERS.

  • TOGETHER, WE DISCOVERED THAT A

  • FREE MARKET ONLY THRIVES WHEN

  • THERE'S RULES TO ENSURE FAIR

  • COMPETITION AND FAIR PLAY.

  • TOGETHER, WE RESOLVE THAT A

  • GREAT NATION MUST CARE FOR THE

  • VULNERABLE AND PROTECT ITS

  • PEOPLE FROM LIFE'S WORST HAZARDS

  • AND MISFORTUNE.

  • THROUGH IT ALL, WE HAVE NEVER

  • RELINQUISHED OUR SKEPTICISM OF

  • CENTRAL AUTHORITY, NOR HAVE WE

  • SUCCUMB TO THE FICTION THAT ALL

  • SOCIETY'S ILLS CAN BE CURED

  • THROUGH GOVERNMENT ALONE.

  • OUR CELEBRATION OF INITIATIVE

  • AND ENTERPRISE, OUR INSISTENCE

  • ON HARD WORK AND PERSONAL

  • RESPONSIBILITY.

  • THESE ARE CONSTANT IN OUR

  • CHARACTER.

  • WE HAVE ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD THAT

  • WHEN TIMES CHANGE, SO MUST WE.

  • THAT FIDELITY TO OUR FOUNDING

  • PRINCIPLES REQUIRES NEW

  • RESPONSES TO NEW CHALLENGES,

  • THAT PRESERVING OUR INDIVIDUAL

  • FREEDOMS ULTIMATELY REQUIRES

  • COLLECTIVE ACTION.

  • THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN NO MORE

  • MEET THE DEMANDS OF TODAY'S

  • WORLD ACTING ALONE, AS SOLDIERS

  • COULD HAVE MET COMMONISM OR

  • FASCISM, WITH MUSKETS OR

  • MILITIAS.

  • NO SINGLE SCIENCE TEACHER CAN

  • TEACH ALL OF THE MATH OR SCIENCE

  • OUR CHILDREN NEED FOR THE

  • FUTURE.

  • OR BUILD THE ROADS AND NETWORK

  • AND RESEARCH LABS THAT WILL

  • BRING THE JOBS AND BUSINESSES TO

  • OUR SHORES.

  • NOW, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST DO

  • THESE THINGS TOGETHER, AS ONE

  • NATION AND ONE PEOPLE.

  • [ APPLAUSE ]

  • THIS GENERATION OF AMERICANS HAS

  • BEEN TESTED BY CRISES THAT STEEL

  • OUR RESOLVE AND PROVED OUR

  • RESILIENCE.

  • A DECADE OF WAR IS NOW ENDING.

  • [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

  • AN ECONOMIC RECOVERY HAS BEGUN.

  • AMERICA'S POSSIBILITIES ARE

  • LIMITLESS, FOR WE POSSESS ALL

  • THE QUALITIES THAT THIS WORLD

  • WITHOUT BOUNDARIES DEMANDS.

  • YOUTH AND DRIVE, DIVERSITY AND

  • OPENNESS.

  • AN ENDLESS CAPACITY FOR RISK AND

  • A GIFT FOR REINVENTION.

  • MY FELLOW AMERICANS, WE ARE MADE

  • FOR THIS MOMENT.

  • AND WE WILL SEE THAT SO LONG AS

  • WE SEIZE IT TOGETHER.

  • [ APPLAUSE ]

  • FOR WE, THE PEOPLE, UNDERSTAND

  • THAT OUR COUNTRY CANNOT SUCCEED

  • WHEN A SHRINKING FEW DO VERY

  • WELL AND A GROWING MANY BARELY

  • MAKE IT.

  • WE BELIEVE THAT AMERICA'S

  • PROSPERITY MUST REST UPON THE

  • BROAD SHOULDERS OF A RISING

  • MIDDLE CLASS.

  • WE KNOW THAT AMERICA THRIVES

  • WHENEV EVERY PERSON CAN PRIDE I

  • CAN LEVERAGE FAMILIES FROM THE

  • BRINK OF HARDSHIP.

  • WE'RE TRUE TO OUR CREED WHEN A

  • LITTLE GIRL BORN INTO THE

  • BLEAKEST POVERTY KNOWS SHE HAS

  • THE SAME CHANCE TO SUCCEED AS

  • ANYBODY ELSE BECAUSE SHE IS AN

  • AMERICAN, SHE IS FREE, AND SHE

  • IS EQUAL, NOT JUST IN THE EYES

  • OF GOD, BUT ALSO IN OUR OWN.

  • [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

  • WE UNDERSTAND THAT OUR PROGRAMS

  • ARE INADEQUATE FOR THE NEEDS OF

  • OUR TIME, SO WE MUST HARNESS NEW

  • IDEAS AND TECHNOLOGY TO REMAKE

  • OUR GOVERNMENT, REVAMP OUR TAX

  • CODE, REFORM OUR SCHOOLS AND

  • EMPOWER OUR CITIZENS WITH THE

  • SKILLS THEY NEED TO WORK HARDER,

  • LEARN MORE, REACH HIGHER.

  • BUT WHILE THE MEANS WILL CHANGE,

  • OUR PURPOSE ENDURES.

  • A NATION THAT REWARDS THE EFFORT

  • AND DETERMINATION OF EVERY

  • SINGLE AMERICAN.

  • THAT IS WHAT THIS MOMENT

  • REQUIRES.

  • THAT IS WHAT WILL GIVE REAL

  • MEANING TO OUR CREED.

  • WE, THE PEOPLE, STILL BELIEVE

  • THAT EVERY CITIZEN DESERVES A

  • BASIC MEASURE OF SECURITY AND

  • DIGNITY.

  • WE MUST MAKE THE HARD CHOICES TO

  • REDUCE THE COST OF HEALTH CARE

  • AND THE SIZE OF OUR DEFICIT.

  • BUT WE REJECT THE BELIEF THAT

  • AMERICA MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN

  • CARING FOR THE GENERATION THAT

  • BUILT THIS COUNTRY AND INVESTING

  • IN THE GENERATION THAT WILL

  • BUILD ITS FUTURE.

  • [ CHEERS ]

  • FOR WE REMEMBER THE LESSONS OF

  • OUR PAST WHEN TWILIGHT YEARS

  • WERE SPENT IN POVERTY AND

  • PARENTS OF A CHILD WITH A

  • DISABILITY HAD NOWHERE TO TURN.

  • WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT IN THIS

  • COUNTRY FREEDOM IS RESERVED FOR

  • THE LUCKY OR HAPPINESS FOR THE

  • FEW.

  • WE REC NOISE THAT NO MATTER HOW

  • RESPONSIBLY WE LIVE OUR LIVES,

  • ANY ONE OF US AT ANY TIME MAY

  • FACE A JOB LOSS OR A SUDDEN

  • ILLNESS OR A HOME SWEPT AWAY IN

  • A TERRIBLE STORM.

  • THE COMMITMENTS WE MAKE TO EACH

  • OTHER THROUGH MEDICARE AND

  • MEDICAID AND SOCIAL SECURITY,

  • THESE DO NOT STAFF OUR

  • INITIATIVE, THEY STRENGTHEN US.

  • THEY DO NOT MAKE US A NATION OF

  • TAKERS.

  • THEY FREE US TO TAKE THE RISKS

  • THAT MAKE THIS COUNTRY GREAT.

  • [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

  • WE, THE PEOPLE, STILL BELIEVE

  • THAT OUR OBLIGATIONS AS

  • AMERICANS ARE NOT JUST TO

  • OURSELVES BUT TO ALL POSTERITY.

  • WE WILL RESPOND TO THE THREAT OF

  • CLIMATE CHANGE KNOWING THAT THE

  • FAILURE TO DO SO WOULD BETRAY

  • OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE

  • GENERATIONS.

  • [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

  • SOME MAY STILL DENY THE

  • OVERWHELMING JUDGMENT OF

  • SCIENCE, BUT NONE CAN AVOID THE

  • DEVASTATING IMPACTS OF RAGING

  • FIRES AND CRIPPLING DROUGHTS AND

  • MORE POWERFUL STORMS.

  • THE PATH TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE

  • ENERGY SOURCES WILL BE LONG AND

  • SOMETIMES DIFFICULT, BUT AMERICA

  • CANNOT RESIST THIS TRANSITION.

  • WE MUST LEAD IT.

  • WE CANNOT CEDE TO OTHER NATIONS

  • THE TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL POWER

  • NEW JOBS AND NEW INDUSTRY.

  • WE MUST CLAIM ITS PROMISE.

  • THAT'S HOW WE WILL MAINTAIN OUR

  • ECONOMIC VITALITY AND OUR

  • NATIONAL TREASURE.

  • OUR FORESTS AND WATERWAYS, OUR

  • CROP LANDS AND SNOWCAPPED PEAKS,

  • THAT IS HOW WE WILL PRESERVE OUR

  • PLANET, COMMAND IT TO OUR CARE

  • BY GOD.

  • THAT'S WHAT WILL LEND MEANING TO

  • THE CREED OUR FATHERS ONCE

  • DECLARED.

  • WE, THE PEOPLE, STILL BELIEVE

  • THAT ENDURING SECURITY AND

  • LASTING PEACE DO NOT REQUIRE

  • PERPETUAL WAR.

  • OUR BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN IN

  • UNIFORM TEMPERED BY THE FLAMES

  • OF BATTLE ARE UNMATCHED IN SKILL

  • AND COURAGE.

  • OUR CITIZENS FEARED BY THE

  • MEMORY OF THOSE WE HAVE LOST

  • KNOW TOO WELL THE PRICE THAT IS

  • PAID FOR LIBERTY.

  • THE KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR SACRIFICE

  • WILL KEEP US FOREVER VIGILANT

  • AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD DO US

  • HARM.

  • BUT WE ARE ALSO HEIRS TO THOSE

  • WOULD WON THE PEACE AND NOT JUST

  • THE WAR, WHO TURN SWORN ENEMIES

  • INTO THE SUREST OF FRIENDS, AND

  • WE MUST CARRY THOSE LESSONS INTO

  • THIS TIME, AS WELL.

  • WE WILL DEFEND OUR PEOPLE AND

  • UPHOLD OUR VALUES THROUGH

  • STRENGTH OF ARMS AND THE RULE OF

  • LAW.

  • WE WILL SHOW THE COURAGE TO TRY

  • AND RESOLVE OUR DIFFERENCES WITH

  • OTHER NATIONS PEACEFULLY, NOT

  • BECAUSE WE ARE NAIVE ABOUT THE