Transcript for President Obama's 2nd Inaugural Address
Ladies and gentlemen. It is my great privilege. And distinct honor. To introduce the 44. President of the United States of America I Barack. -- -- Working on this inaugural address since December tweaking it over the weekend -- expected -- last 21 minutes. We -- from the west front of the US capitol building. On this January 21. Okay. -- -- Vice President Biden. -- justice and members of the United States congress. Distinguished. Guests. And fellow citizens. Each time we gathered to inaugurate -- president. We bear witness. To the enduring strength. And our constitution. Reaffirmed the promise of our democracy. We're call -- what binds this nation together is not the color of the -- -- -- the tenants of our faith. -- origins of our names. What -- is exceptional. What makes us American. Is our allegiance to an idea articulated. In the declaration. Made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths -- To be self -- That all men. Are created equal. And god. By their creator. With certain unalienable rights. But among base our life. Liberty. And the pursuit of happiness. Today we continue -- never ending journey. To bridge the meaning of those words. The reality is a hard time. For history tells us that while these -- maybe self evident. They have never been that self -- secured. The -- freedom is a gift from god. It must be secured by his people here on earth. The patriots of 1776. Did not. -- to replace the turning -- McCain. With the privileges of -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- They gave to us a republic. A government and by and for the people. And trusting each generation to keep safe are found -- -- For more. The 200 years we have. -- blood drawn by -- and blood drawn by sword we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality. Could survive half slave and half free. We made ourselves -- new. And vowed to move forward together. Together we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce. Schools and colleges to train our workers. Together we discovered that a free market only -- when there are rules to ensure competition. And fair play. Together. We resolved -- a great nation must care for the vulnerable. And protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune. All. We have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority. Nor -- we succumb to the fiction that all society's ills can be cured through government along. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise. Our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility. These are Constance in our character. We have always understood that when times change. So must we. The fidelity to -- -- Founding principles requires new responses to new challenges. The preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires. Collective action. But the American people can no more meet the demands of today's world by acting alone -- American soldiers could have -- the forces of fascism or communism. We must -- and malicious. No single person can train all the math and science teachers won't need equip our children for the future. Or build the road to networks and research labs and bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now. More than ever. We must do these things together. As one nation and one people. This generation of Americans has been. Tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. The decade of war is now and it. -- economic recovery. -- -- -- America's possibilities. Are limitless for -- all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands. You and drive. Diversity. And -- -- An endless capacity for risk yet and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans we are made for this moment and we will see that so long as we see fit together. -- -- The people. Understand that our country cannot succeed won a shrinking -- Do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America's prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of -- rising middle class. We know America -- -- every person confined independence and pride in the work. When the -- of honest labor -- families from the brink of hardship. We are true north freed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she -- the same chance to succeed is anybody else because she is an American. She is free and -- -- not just. -- -- -- -- -- But also in -- home. We understand that -- -- programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. So we must -- new ideas and technology to remake our government. Read our tax don't. Reform our schools and empower citizens with the skills they need to work harder learned more reach higher. But while the means won't change. Our purpose and -- -- nation in the rewards work and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires that is what -- will give the real meaning to our frequent. 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 were just. The belief that America must choose between caring for the generation the -- this country. And investing in the generation will build its future it. For we remember the lessons of our past. When twilight years were spent in poverty. And parents of the child with a disability had -- to turn. We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the locker room. -- happiness for the few who. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives. Anyone of us. At any time. May face a job loss for a sudden illness. Or -- -- swept away at a terrible storm. The commitments we made -- job. Through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security these things do not sap. Make us a nation of takers they -- Maria -- to take the risks that make this country great. We. The Peabody. Still believe -- our obligations as Americans. Are not just to ourselves but all posterity. We will respond of the threat of climate change. Knowing that the failure. You had to do so would betray our children. And future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science. But not -- -- the devastating impact of raging fires. And crippling drought. The more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition. We must leave it. We cannot cede it to other nations the technology that will power new job and new industries we must claimed its promise. That's how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure. Our forests and water -- Are crop lands and snow capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet. Commanded to our care by -- That's what will -- meaning to the creed. Our fathers once declared. We. The people. Still believe that indoor and security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform. Tempered by the flames of battle are unmatched and skill and courage. Our citizens. Seared by the memory of those we -- lost know too well the prices paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant. Against those who would do -- -- But we -- also heirs to those who won the peace and not just -- war. Who -- sworn enemies in the insurers to friends and we must carry -- lessons in the this time as well. We will defend our people and uphold our values -- strength of arms and the rule of. But. -- show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully not because we are naive about the dangers we face. But because engagement in more terribly let suspicion and -- America will remain the anchor -- strong alliances and every corner of the globe. We already knew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis brought. -- no -- -- greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. Real support democracy from Asia to Africa from the Americas to the Middle East because our interest and our conscience compel us to. Act on -- happen. Of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hopeful. To the poor the sick. The -- -- but victims of prejudice. Not out of mere charity but because he's in -- time required constant advance of those principles that are common creed describes. Tolerance and opportunity. Human dignity. And justice. We. The people. Declared today met the most evident -- troops yet. But all of us are created big. -- this bond that Guidant still. Does the -- our forebears to Seneca. All and Selma and stonewalled. Just -- big guy. It all those men and women that some an ensemble left footprints along this great moment to hear it preachers say that we cannot -- -- To hear can proclaim that individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every so long -- In his mouth -- generations task. To -- wrong. What those five years beginning. For our journey is not complete until our lives our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our day. Brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. We are true liquidity -- then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise. -- the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving hopeful immigrants whose don't see America. As -- land of opportunity. -- bright young students and engineers are lifted and our workforce rather than expelled from. From our country. Our journey is not complete. Until all our children. From the streets of Detroit into the hills -- -- to the quiet lanes of Newtown. Know that they are careful. And cherished. -- -- -- -- -- That. Is our generation's task. To make these -- these rights these values. Of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Real -- every America. True -- founding documents does not require us to -- Agree on every contour of life. Does not mean we can all -- liberty and exactly the same way. -- follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries long debates about the role of government for all time. But it does require -- -- acted in our time. For -- decisions are upon us. And we cannot afford to let him. We cannot mistake absolutism for principal. Result -- spectacle for politics. -- name calling as reasoned debate. We must. We must act knowing. That our work will be -- perfect. We must act knowing that today's victory is it would be only partial. And there will be up to those who stand here -- four years and forty years and 400 years -- To advance the timeless spirit once -- to us. And a spared Philadelphia home. My fellow Americans. The -- I have sworn before you today. Like the one recited by others who serve in this cabinet. Was oath to god and country. Not party or faction. And we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different. From all but has taken each time -- soldiers signed up for duty. Born immigrant -- surgery. My -- is not so different from the -- we all make it to the flag that waves above and the bills are. Our hearts with pride. -- -- the word of citizens. And they represent our greatest hope. You -- I -- citizens. The power to -- this country scorers. We're not. As citizens. Have the obligation to -- the debates of our time not only -- the -- we can't. -- the voices we live in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. Let us each of us now embrace. -- -- god an awesome drool. What is our lasting birth right. -- -- and out. And common purpose. With passion and dedication. Let us answer the call -- distant. And Jerry into an uncertain future that -- light of freedom. Thank you god bless him. And maybe forever bless these United States of America. Am. I.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.