Sen. Charles Schumer Opens Inaugural Ceremony

Democratic senator from New York is also the inaugural ceremonies chairman.
5:01 | 01/21/13

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Transcript for Sen. Charles Schumer Opens Inaugural Ceremony
This is the 57. Inauguration I'm an American president. And no matter how many times one witness is this event. Its simplicity. It's innate majesty. And most of all it's meaning. That's sacred yet cautious in trusting of power. From we the people who are chosen leader. Never fails to make one's heart beat faster. As it will today with the inauguration. President Barack H Obama. Now we know that we would not be here today were it not for those who stand guard around the world to preserve our freedom. To those in our armed forces. We offer our infinite thanks. For your bravery. Your honor. Your sacrifice. This tomorrow. -- -- Was forged by intellect an argument. My activism. And blood. And above all from John Adams to Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Martin Luther King. -- a stubborn adherence to the notion that we are all created equal and that we deserve nothing less. Then a great republic worthy of our consent. The theme of this year's inaugural is face in America's future. The perfect embodiment of this unshakable confidence in the ongoing success of our collective journey it is an event from our past. I speak of the improbable completion of the capitol dome and capping it with the statue of freedom. Which occurred -- 150 years ago in 18630. When Abraham Lincoln took office two years earlier the dome above us was a half built eyesore. Conventional wisdom was that it should be left unfinished until the war ended. Given the travails and financial needs of the times. But to president Lincoln to have finished dome symbolize the half divided nation. Lincoln said. If people see that capital going on it is a sign we intend to union shall go on. And so despite the conflict which which -- the nation and surrounded this CD. The dome continued to rise. On December 2 1863. The statue of freedom a woman was placed atop the dome where she still stands today. In a sublime irony it was a former slave now free American Philip Reed. Who helped to cast -- bronze statue. Now our present times or not is apparently series despairing as they -- an 1863. But in 2013. Far too many doubt the future of this great nation. And our ability to tackle our own here is half finished domes. Today's problems are intractable they say -- times are so complex the differences in the country in the world so deep. We will never overcome them. When thoughts like these. Produce anxiety. Fear. And even despair. We do well to remember that Americans have always -- and still are. A practical. Optimistic. Problem solving people. And that -- our history shows no matter how steep decline how difficult the problems how have finished the task. America always rises to the occasion. -- -- -- America prospers. And those who bet against this country have inevitably. Been on the wrong side of history. So up. It is a good moment to gaze upward and behold the statue of freedom at the top of the capitol dome. It is a good moment to gain strength and courage and humility. From those who were determined to complete the half finished dome. It is a good moment. To rejoice today at his 57 presidential inaugural ceremony and it is the perfect moment. To renew our collective face in the future. Of America. And god bless these United States.

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

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