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´╗┐Title: Inaugural Presidential Address
Author: Obama, Barack, 1961-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Inaugural Presidential Address" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


Several different version of Barack Hussein Obama's Inaugural
Address, as transcribed.  Please see our eBook #28001 for the
official White House version of the text.


The following 2445 words comprise Barack Hussein Obama's
Inaugural Presidential Address given from noon to 12:15 P.M.,
January 20, 2009.

[Capitals represent emphasis, extra commas represent pauses,
long pauses are represented by ellipses (. . .).]

This was typed by a team of volunteers, as the address was given,


Barack Obama's Inaugural Address

This is Michael Hart's transcription of President Obama's Inaugural Speech.

It was typed my hand on a new computer, so there may be more errors than
I would have liked if my old one hadn't died last night.

We will be combining this with other versions that will be coming in and
a few references to the official version, but we will stick to what was
said as opposed to the official script.  My paragraphs will not always
be the same length, punctuation not always the same, etc.

Founder

///


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/shattered???, 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.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and travelled 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 like Concord, and Gettysburg,
Normandy, and Khe Sahn.

Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed until 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. . .

[long applause pause]


. . .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 new foundations for growth.  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 cost.

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.

The question we ask to day 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 dignified.  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 our ability to
extend opportunity to every willing heart, not out of charity, but because it
is the surest route to our common good.

[long applause pause]

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

Our founding fathers [pause for applause]. . . .

Our founding fathers, faced with perils 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 expedients' sake. . .

[applause pause]

. . .and so, to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today,
from the grandest capitols, 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.

[long pause for applause]

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 will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to is people, and forge a hard earned
peace in Afghanistan.

With old friends and former foes we will 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!

[long pause for applause]

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
non-believers.  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
societies' ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you
can build, not what you destroy.

[pause for applause]

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 fist.

[pause for applause]

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 much 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 ages.  We honor them,
not only because they are the 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 a government can do, and must do, it us ultimately the faith and
determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.  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 firefighters' 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.

[long pause for applause]

So let us mark this day with 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 capitol 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.



Version 2: As transcribed by a major news organization

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...

(APPLAUSE)

... 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 forbearers, 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.

(APPLAUSE)

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.

(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.

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 Sahn.

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.

(APPLAUSE)

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 growth.

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...

(APPLAUSE)

... 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 dignified.

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 knowledge 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.

(APPLAUSE)

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.

(APPLAUSE)

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."

(APPLAUSE)

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...

(APPLAUSE)

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 fist.

(APPLAUSE)

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 ages.

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 relies.

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.

(APPLAUSE)

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 nine 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.

(APPLAUSE)

And God bless the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)



Version 3: As transcribed by an individual Doctrine Publishing Corporation volunteer

Presidential Inaugural Address
of Barack Obama
on January 20, 2009.

by Barack 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,
and 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 like
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 the economy calls for action, bold and swift,
and we will act -- not only to create new jobs,
but to lay a new foundation for growth.
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 cost.
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.
And 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.
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 dignified.
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 --
and that a 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 our 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 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 the 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 that we are
ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism
not just with missiles and tanks, but
with 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 will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people,
and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan.
With old friends and former foes,
we will 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 non-believers.
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 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 fist.

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 today,
just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.
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 relies.
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 --
hard work and honesty, 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 sixty 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 with 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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