Remarks at the inauguration of Barack Obama
Mr. President, Mr. Vice-President, Mr. President-Elect and Vice-President-Elect, ladies and gentlemen,
The world is watching today as our great democracy engages in this peaceful transition of power. Here, on the National Mall, where we remember the founders of our nation and those who fought to make it free, we gather to etch another line in the solid stone of history. The freedom of a people to choose its leaders is the root of liberty. In a world where political strife is too often settled with violence, we come here every four years to bestow the power of the presidency upon our democratically elected leader.
Those who doubt the supremacy of the ballot over the bullet can never diminish the power engendered by non-violent struggles for justice and equality like the one that made this day possible. No triumph tainted by brutality could ever match the sweet victory of this hour and of what it means to those who marched and died to make it a reality.
Our work is not yet finished, but future generations will mark this morning as the turning point for real and necessary change in our nation. They will look back and remember that this was the moment when the dream that once echoed across history from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial finally reached the walls of the White House. In that spirit we today not only inaugurate a new administration; we pledge ourselves to the hope, the vision, the unity and the renewed call to greatness inspired by the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama.