Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama sworn in as 44th US President

Barack Obama has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United of the United States of America. After introductions and an opening address by Sen Dianne Feinstein, the Chair of Joint Congressional Committee of Inaugural Ceremonies, there followed a preliminary prayers and musical interludes. Rick Warren, author and pastor of the Saddleback Church, Orange County, Calif., said prayers for the forthcoming administration and ended with the Lord's Prayer.
Aretha Franklin sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" before the crowds of enthusiastic Obama supporters. Obama say alongside his wife with his eyes closed listening to the music before Joe Biden stood to take the oath of office. As the bible was handed to him he was heard to say "that's one hell of a book". Another musical interlude followed. Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Anthony McGill and Gabriella Montero performed 'Air & Simple Gifts' written by John Williams.
Finally, Barack Obama stood up to take the oath that would make him the 44th President. He stumbled over the words slightly with a smile, but he could be forgiven for being just a little nervous as millions around the world watched.
He spoke not only of making America strong but also bringing the world together in peace. But he said that those who wished to harm America would regret their actions. "
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 you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist," President Obama said.
He spoke too about the economy. "Without a watchful eye the market can spin out of control" he said and promised to put the country back on track. But he said now was not a time for recriminations. "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America" Obama told the huge crowds.
"All are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness" President Obama said. But he said all should work together to make that dream possible.
"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" [Full Text].

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