WASHINGTON (January 21, 2013)—“While freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by his people here on Earth," President Barack Obama said Monday in an 18-minute address after taking a ceremonial oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts.
Delivering his second inaugural address Monday, the president told a crowd of hundreds of thousands that the inalienable rights set out in the Declaration of Independence may be self-evident, but "they've never been self-executed."
“This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience,” he said.
“A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention,” he said.
“My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together.”
In his second inaugural address, Obama didn't dwell on any first-term accomplishments, but instead looked to the hard work ahead in a country that's still grappling with a sluggish economy, and he urged Washington to find common ground over his next four years.
He rejected the notion that the nation "must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."
He also said the nation must "respond to the threat of climate change" and tackle the issue of immigration reform.
And he said it must protect its children from the kind of violence that erupted in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
The president spoke after taking the oath of office for a second time Monday, using two Bibles, one used by President Abraham Lincoln at his first Inauguration and one used by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mr. Obama was officially sworn in during a private ceremony on Sunday because the Constitution requires presidential terms to begin on Jan. 20.