Jan. 20, 1989: Pres. George H.W. Bush's Inaugural Address

Inauguration Day: Former Vice President George H.W. Bush is sworn in as president of the United States.
3:00 | 12/26/12

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Transcript for Jan. 20, 1989: Pres. George H.W. Bush's Inaugural Address
There is a man here who is earned a lasting place in our hearts. And in our history. Prison Reagan. On behalf of our nation. I thank you for the wonderful things that you have done for America. I'm just repeated. Word for word the oath taken by George Washington. 200 years ago and the Bible. On which I placed my hand is the Bible on which he placed his. It is right. That the memory of Washington be with us today. Not only because this is our bicentennial. Inauguration. But because Washington remains the father of our country. And he would I think be -- by this day for today is that concrete expression. And a stunning fact. Our continuity. These 200 years since our government began. We made on democracy's front porch. A good place to talk his neighbors and his friends. For this is a day when our nation is made whole. When our differences for a moment or suspended. And my First Act as president. As a prayer. And ask you -- bow your heads heavenly father. We bow our heads and thank you for your love. Except our thanks to the peace that yields this day and the shared faith. That makes its continuance likely. Make us strong to do your work. Willing to heat in here your will and right on our hearts these words. Used power. To help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world and our name. There is -- one just use of power and need is to serve people help us remember Allard. Man. I come before you. And assume the presidency. At a moment rich with promise. We live in a peaceful prosperous time. That we can make it better. For a new breezes blowing. And a world refreshed by freedoms -- three Lauren. -- man's heart if not in fact that day of the dictator is over. The totalitarian. Area is passing. It's old ideas blown away like believes from an ancient lifeless trees. And new breeze -- blowing. And a nation -- five freedom stands ready to push -- There's new ground to be broken. And new action to be taken. There are times when the future seems -- as -- fog is sit and wait. Hoping the mess -- left and reveal the right path. But this is a time when the future seems that door you can walk right through. Into -- call tomorrow. Great nations of the world are moving toward democracy. Through the door to freedom. Men and women of the world. Move toward free markets. Through that door to prosperity. The people of the world agitate for free expression and free thought. Through the door to the moral and intellectual satisfaction. Is. That only liberty allow us. We know what works. Freedom works. We know what's right. Freedom is right. We know how to secure. A more just and prosperous life for man on earth. Through free markets. -- free speech free elections. And the exercise. Of free will -- hampered by the state. But it. For the first time in this century. For the first time in perhaps. All history. Man does not have to invent a system by which to live. We don't have to talk late into the night about which form of government is better. We don't have to rest justice. From the kings. We only have to -- it from within ourselves. We must act on what we know. I take his my guide the hope of -- saint. In crucial things unity. In important things diversity. In all things. Generosity. America today is a proud. Free nation. Decent and civil. A place we cannot help but love. We know in our hearts not loudly and proudly -- as a simple facts. That this country has meaning beyond what we see and that our strength is a force for good. Have we changed. As a nation even in our time. Are we enthralled with material things less appreciative. Of the nobility of work and sacrifice. My friends we are not the sum of our possessions. They -- not the measure of our lives. In our hearts we know what matters. We cannot. Hope only to leave our children a bigger car bigger bank account we must hope to give them a sense of what it means. To be a loyal friend. A loving parent. A citizen who leaves his home his neighborhood and town. Better than he found it. And what -- we want the men and women who work with us to say when where no longer there. That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around this. Or that we stop to ask. If a sick child had gotten better. And stayed a moment there. To -- word of friendship. No president. No government. Can teach us to remember what is best in what we are. And if the man you've chosen to lead this government can help make a difference. If he can celebrate the quieter deeper successes. That are made not of golden silk but a better hearts and find ourselves. If he can do these things. -- must. America -- Is never wholly herself. Unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We -- -- people have such a purpose today. It is. To make kinder the face of the nation. And gentler the face of the world. My friends we have work to do. They're the homeless. Lost in roaming. There are other children who have nothing no love no normalcy. There are those who cannot free themselves of -- meant to whatever addiction drugs. Welfare the demoralization that rules the -- There is trying to be conquered. The -- crime -- the streets. -- young women to be help. We're about to become mothers -- children they can't care for and might not love. They need our care our guidance. In our education -- we bless them for choosing life. The old solution. The old way was to think that public money alone. Could end these problems. That we have learned that that is not so. And in any case our funds are low we have a deficit to bring down. We have more will than wallet. But will it is what we need. We will make -- hard choices. Looking at what we have. Perhaps allocating it differently. Making our decisions based on honest need and prudent safety. And then. We would do the wise this thing of all. We will turn to the only resource we have. -- in times of need. Always grows. Goodness. And that courage. Of the American people. And I am speaking. Have a new engagement in the lives of others a new activism -- hands on involved that gets the job done. We must bring in the generations. Harnessing the unused talent -- the elderly. And the unfocused energy of the young. For not only leadership. Is passed from generation to generation been so is stewardship. And the generation born. After the Second World War has come of age. I've spoken of a thousand points of light. Of all that community organizations. That are spread like stars throughout the nation doing good. We will work hand enhance. Encouraging. Sometimes leading. Sometimes being led. Rewarding. We will work on this in the White House. In the cabinet agencies. I will go to the people in the programs that are the brighter points of light and I'll ask every member of my government to become involved. The old ideas are new again but because they're not old they are timeless. Duty sacrifice. Commitment. And up patriotism that -- six expression and taking part and pitching in. We need in new engagement to. Between the executive in the congress. The challenges before us will be thrashed out with a white with a house in the senate. And we -- bring the federal budget into balance. And -- ensure that America stands before the world united. Strong. At peace. And fiscally sound. But of course things may be difficult. We need compromise we've had dissension. We need harmony. We've had a chorus of discordant voices. For congress to -- changed in our time. -- grown a certain divisiveness. We've seen -- hard looks and heard the statements in which not each other's ideas are challenged. But each other's motives. In our great parties. Have -- often -- -- far apart. And on trusting of each other. It's been this way since Vietnam. That war. Cleaves us still bad friends. That war began in earnest. A quarter of a century ago. And surely this statute of limitations has been reached. This is a fact that final lesson of Vietnam. Is -- no great nation. Can long afford to be thundered by a memory. A new breezes blowing. And the old bipartisan. Ship. Must be made new again. To my friends. And yes I do mean friends. In the loyal opposition. And yes I mean loyal. I put out my hand. I'm putting out my -- you mister speaker. I'm putting out my -- you mr. majority leader for this is -- thing. This is the age of the offered hand. And we can't turn back plots and I don't want him. -- when our fathers were young mr. speaker. Our differences ended at the water's edge. And we don't wish to turn back time. When our mothers -- young mr. majority later. That congress and the executive were capable of working together to produce a budget on which this nation could live. Let us negotiate soon and hard that are in -- and let us produce. The American people await action they didn't send -- here to Victor. They ask us to rise above the merely artists and in crucial things unity. And this my friends is crucial. To the world to we offer new engagement. And a renewed Deval. We will stay strong to protect the peace. The offered hand. Is a reluctant test. Once made strong and can be used with great effect. There are today Americans who -- held against their will and foreign lands. And Americans who are unaccounted for. Assistance can be shown here and -- be long remembered. Goodwill. Begets. Goodwill. Good face it can be a spiral that endlessly moves on. Great nations like great men must keep their word. When America says something America means it whether -- treaty. Are -- agreement. -- -- valve made on marble steps. We will always try to speak clearly. For candor is a compliment. But -- to is good and has its place. While keeping our alliances and friendships around the world strong -- strong. We will continue the new closeness with the Soviet Union consistent both. With our security and with progress. One might say that our new relationship in part reflects the triumph. Of hope. And strength. Over experience. But hope is good. And so its strength. And vigilance. Here today. Are tens of thousands of our citizens. Who feel -- understandable. Satisfaction. Of those who have taken part in democracy. And seen their hopes fulfilled. But my thoughts. Have been turning the past few days to those who would be watching at home. To an older fellow -- throw a salute. By himself and the flag goes by. And the woman. Who would tell her sons the words of the battle hymns. I don't mean this to be sent a metal. I mean -- on days like this. We remember that we are all. Part of a continuance. In escape -- Blake connected by the ties that -- Our children are watching in the schools throughout our great land and to them I say. Thank you for watching democracy's big day. For democracy belongs to assault. And freedom. It is like a beautiful kite that can go higher and higher with the breeze. And to all lies said. No matter what your circumstances. -- where you are you are part of this day. You are part of the life up our great nation. The president. Neither prince nor Pope and I don't seek a window on men's souls. In fact I yearn for -- greater tolerance. An easy going this about each others' attitudes and and way of life. There are few clear areas. In which we as a society. Must rise up united. An express our intolerance. The most obvious now is drugs. And when that first cocaine was smuggled in on -- yet. It may as well have been a deadly bacteria so much is it hurt the body -- soul of our country. -- is much to be done. And to be said. But take my word for it. This -- will stop. And so there is much to do. And tomorrow the work begins. And I do not miss trust the future. I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large. But our heart is larger. Our challenges are great. But our will law is greater. And if our flaws are endless. God's love. Is truly boundless. Some -- leadership is high drama and the sound of trumpets calling. And sometimes it is that. But I see history is a book with many pages. In each day. We fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning. The new breeze blows. Page turns. The story unfolds. And so today at chapter begins. A small and stately story of unity. Diversity. And generosity. Shared and written together. Thank you. God bless you and god bless the United States of America.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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