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The complete speech by President Obama logo-noticias.cd3dd216dd56a6bfeef...

The complete speech by President Obama

The complete speech by President Obama

Read here the entire speech by President Obama on the steps of the Capitol, in English and word by word.

My fellow citizens:I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; 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 to 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, and that the next generation must lower its sights. Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that 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 things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

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In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that

greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never

been one of short-cuts 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, it has been the

risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more

often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the

long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.For

us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg;

Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and

sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a

better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual

ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or

faction.This is the journey we continue today. We remain the

most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less

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productive than 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. But

our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and 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.For everywhere we look, there is work to be

done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we

will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for

growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the 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 raise 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

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the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.Now,

there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest

that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are

short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what

free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common

purpose, and necessity to courage.What the cynics fail to

understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale

political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

The question we ask today is not whether 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 forward. Where the answer is no,

programs will end. 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

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vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the

question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its

power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this

crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin

out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long 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 our ability to extend 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,

faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure

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the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood

of generations.

Those ideals still light the world, and we will

not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and

governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the

small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend

of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of

peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall

that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with

missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.

They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it

entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows

through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our

cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility

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and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these

principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even

greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between

nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and

forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan.

With old friends and

former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and

roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for

our way of 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 that our spirit is stronger and cannot be

broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we

know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are

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a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers.

We

are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this

Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of 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; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world

grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that

America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To

those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their

society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on

what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power

through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that

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you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if

you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor

nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish

and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry

minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we

say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our

borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to

effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As

we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble

gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off

deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today,

just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We

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honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but

because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find

meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment -

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. It is the kindness to take in a

stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would

rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us

through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a

stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture

a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be

new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those

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values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage

and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these

things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force

of progress throughout our history.

What is demanded then is a

return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of

responsibility - a 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 of our

character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the

price and the promise of citizenship. This is the source of our

confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain

destiny.

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This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why

men and women and children of 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 a most sacred oath.

So

let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we

have traveled. 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. At a moment when the

outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation

ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told

to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but

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hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed

at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In

the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us

remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once

more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said

by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let

this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with

eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth

that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future

generations.

God bless you. God bless America.

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