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'We must act together as one nation, one people'

US President Obama began his second term with an optimistic inauguration speech that declared “America’s possibilities are limitless.”

Canons fired and hundreds of thousands of elated supporters cheered after Obama, the 44th President of the United States, was sworn into office by Chief Justice John G. Roberts using two bibles — one used by President Lincoln and the other from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.


I solemnly swear: Obama took oath on the Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr Bibles, held by his wife Michelle, while his children Sasha and Malia looked on. Pics/AFP

Then addressing the crowd in an impassioned speech, Obama urged the country to work together towards a secure future. “Our individual freedoms requires collective action,” he said. “We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few... We must act together, as one nation and one people.”


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“Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”

As many as 700,000 people gathered to watch the day’s celebrations, brandishing flags and wearing patriotic hats and pins.

Excerpts from the speech
We, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm. 

Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage... But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom

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