HOUSTON – Joe Biden is officially the president of the United States of America.
After his official swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Biden gave his inaugural address to the American people. His speech covered a range of topics, including the understanding of the historical significance of his presidency.
While the inauguration marked the end of a tremulous election, Biden spoke about unity and the pursuit of the American dream for all.
Here are some of the most enduring quotes from Biden’s inaugural address:
Biden’s oath to Americans
Before God and all of you, I give you my word I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I’ll defend our democracy. I’ll defend America. And I will give all, all of you, keep everything you--I do in your service, thinking not of power but of possibilities, not of personal interest but the public good. And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear; of unity, not division; of light, not darkness; a story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness.
Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause. The cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded. We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.
On the American story
But the American story depends not in any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we, the people who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation. We are good people. And over the centuries, through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we’ve come so far, but we still have far to go.
Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this. Bringing America together. Uniting our people. Uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause.
Meeting the moment
For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury, no progress, only exhausting outrage; no nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America.
On the historical moment
Here we stand, looking out on the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand where 108 years ago, at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote, and today we mark the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris.
Some days when you need a hand, there are other days when we are called to lend a hand. That is how it has to be, and that is what we do for one another, and if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future, and we can still disagree.
To the international community
America has been tested and we’ve come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again, not to meet yesterday’s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. And we’ll lead not merely by the example of our power, by the power of our example. We’ll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.
For those lost to COVID-19
And in my first act as president, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer, remember all those who we lost this past year to the pandemic, those 400,000 fellow Americans, moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. We will honor them by becoming the people in the nation we know we can and should be. So, I ask you let’s say a silent prayer for those who’ve lost their lives and those left behind and for our country.
On the future
We face an attack on our democracy and on truth, a raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways, but the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with — one of the gravest responsibilities we had.
Now we’re going to be tested. Are we going to step up, all of us? It’s time for boldness for there is so much to do. And this is certain. I promise you we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion is the question. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children?
I believe we must. I’m sure you do as well. I believe we will.