“We are here today not simply to pay tribute to our first patriots
but to take up the work that they began. The trials we face are very
different now, but severe in their own right. Only a handful of times
in our history has a generation been confronted with challenges so
vast. An economy that is faltering. Two wars, one that needs to be
ended responsibly, one that needs to be waged wisely. A planet that is
warming from our unsustainable dependence on oil.
And yet while
our problems may be new, what is required to overcome them is not. What
is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders
displayed. What is required is a new declaration of independence, not
just in our nation, but in our own lives – from ideology and small
thinking, prejudice and bigotry – an appeal not to our easy instincts
but to our better angels.”
–from President-elect Barack Obama’s speech in Philadelphia, as provided by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.