Transcript for President Obama's 2009 Inaugural Address
My fellow citizens. And I. I stand here today. Humbled by the task before us. Great home. For the trustee are bestowed. Mindful. Of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush reservist coronation. Well road generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout. This transition. 44 Americans. Have now taken. The presidential vote. Words have been spoken during rising tide the prosperity but. The still waters of peace. And yet. Every soul off. Bill just taken amidst gathering clouds. And raging storms. These moments America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those and I office. But because wait the people. Have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents. So what does Ben. So it must be what this generation of Americans. There we are in the midst of crisis is not well understood. Our nation is our war. Against a far reaching network. Of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened a consequences of greed and irresponsibility on the part of salaam. But also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new rage. Homes have been lost jobs shed businesses shut up. Our health care is too costly our schools failed to Manning. 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 of 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 of the challenges we face all real. They are serious and there are many they will not make B Matt you know lately. Or a short span of time. But know this America they will be Matt. We gather because we have chosen hope over period. Unity of purpose. Over conflict in that story. On this today. We come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances. And false promises the recriminations. And worn out dog months. The 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 spends. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit to choose our better history to carry forward that precious gift. But noble idea passed on from generation to generation. The god given promise that all are equal all are free at all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. And I. In re affirming. The greatness of our nation. We understand the greatness is never get. I 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 whose been the risk takers the doers the makers of things some celebrated. But more often men and women obscure in their labor. With carried us up along rugged path towards prosperity and freedom. For us. They packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans. In search of a new light. Us make toiled in sweat shops and settled the west. Endured the lash of the whip and plowed the harder. For us they thought and god. In places like Concord and Gettysburg. Normandy and Jerry's son. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked over hands were wrong so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions. Greater than all the difference is the birth or wealth or faction. This is majority we continue to back. We remain the most prosperous powerful nation on earth. Our workers are no less productive and 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 that. And our time of standing pat. The protecting narrow interest in 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. Broader 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 Craig new jobs but to laying new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges 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 braves 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 ridge. All this weekend to. All this we will group. Now breasts all who question the scale of our ambitions. Who suggests that our system cannot tolerate too many big plants. Their memories are short. For their forgotten what this country is already done. What free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose. And necessity to courage. Him. What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them. But the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply it. The question we ask today is not what 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 won't. Wear the answer is no programs will land. 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 did the question before us whether the market is a force for good or it. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched. But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful Iraq. The market can spin out of control the nation cannot prosper along. 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 expand 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. Our founding fathers faced with girls 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 youth and we will not give them up for expedience sake. And sold. Through all the other peoples and governments were watching today from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born. Know that America is very proud 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. Root cause. Generations faced down fascism and communism. Not just with missiles and tanks. But what the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. I understood that our power alone cannot protect us nor does it entitle us to do is we please. Instead they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justice of our calls 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 pose new threats the demand even greater effort. Even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. Will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard earned peace in Afghanistan. We're old friends and former Paul's real work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the Specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our web 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 but our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us and we will defeat you. More we know. And our patchwork heritage is ace frankly. Not a weakness. We are 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 swell up 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. But the lines of tribe shall soon dissolved. Now does the world grows smaller our common humanity shall reveal itself and that America must play its role. In ushering in a new Arab peace. To the mother moral. We seek a new way Korea. Based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict. Or blame their society's bells on the west know if your people will judge you on what you can build. Not what you're destroyed. To the lows. The 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're relying on client short rest. We pledged to work alongside America farms flourish and let clean waters flow. To nourish starved bodies and feet on remind us. And those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty. We say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders. Nor could Reese consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed. And we must change without. As we consider the role that unfolds before us. We remember. With humble gratitude. Those brave Americans who at this very hour. Patrol far off deserts and distant mountains. The have something to tell us. Just as the fallen heroes who lie and Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are the guardians of our liberty. Or because they embody the spirit of service. A willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet at this mobile. 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. The kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break. The selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours and see if Bradley lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. In the firefighters courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child. That finally decides are picked. Our challenges that may be known. The instruments wood which we meet them. May be no. The bulls 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. The have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these troops. Is required Abbas now is a new era of responsibility. The 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 mark Erickson. And giving our all to a difficult task. Bets that the price and the promise of citizenship. This is the source of our competence the knowledge that god called Augusta straight and on certain destined. This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed why. Men and women and children up 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 the most sacred oath. Okay. Or are spared in remembrance. A food we are. How far we have trapped. 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. The moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in Ghana. The father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people. Mother be told to future world. That in the depths of winter when nothing but hope and virtue could survive. That the city and the country alarmed at one common danger came forth to mead. In the face of our common dangers. In this winner of our hardship. Let us remember these timeless words. We're hoping virtue models braved once more the icy currents and endure what storms may come. But it beset by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey ended. Now we did not turn back nor did we falter. And with odd specs on the horizon and God's grace upon us we carried forth that great gift of freedom. And delivered it safely. The future generations bank and god bless you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.