January 20th local time, Democrat Joe Biden was officially sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Subsequently, Biden delivered an inaugural speech. The following is the full 22-minute speech of Biden:
Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer (Senate Minority), Leader McConnell (Senate Majority), Vice President Pence. My distinguished guests, my fellow Americans.
Today is the day of the United States, the day of democracy, the day of history and hope, rejuvenation and determination. After years of trials, the United States has withstood new tests, and the United States has risen to meet the challenges. Today, we celebrate not the victory of a candidate, but a victory of a cause, a democratic cause. The will of the people is listened to and the will of the people is valued.
We once again realize that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile, friends, at this moment, democracy has the upper hand. Therefore, in this sacred land that violently shook the foundation of the Capitol a few days ago, under the guidance of God, we are united as an indivisible country to carry out a peaceful transfer of power in accordance with our tradition for more than two centuries.
As we look ahead in our unique American way, with throbbing, courage, and optimism, and we look at the country we know we can and must be, I thank the predecessors of both parties, and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. I know the tenacity and strength of our Constitution, and the power of our country, like President Carter, whom I talked to last night and was unable to be present with us today, we want to pay tribute to him for his lifelong dedication.
I just read out the sacred vows that every patriot has read. This oath was first read out by George Washington. But the story of America does not depend on any one or some of us, but on all of us, on those of us who support the pursuit of a more perfect union. This is a great country. We are all kind people. Over the centuries, after going through ups and downs, peace and wars, we have come so far, and we still have a long way to go.
We will move forward quickly and with a sense of urgency, because we have a lot to do in this dangerous and huge winter. We have too much to complete, too much to heal, too much to recover, too much to build, and too much to harvest. In the history of our country, few people have encountered greater challenges, and few people have encountered such challenging and difficult times as today. The once-in-a-century virus has infiltrated our country and killed more people in a year than the whole World War II.
Millions of people lost their jobs and hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. We are moved by the 400-year-old cry for racial justice. A dream that justice for everyone will not be postponed again. The cry for survival comes from the planet itself, which has never been more urgent or clear. Political extremism, white supremacy, and the rise of domestic terrorism, we must fight against it, and we will defeat them.
In order to overcome these challenges, reshape the soul of the United States and guard the future of the United States, we need more than language, we need the most elusive thing in democracy, which is unity. Unity. On New Year’s Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Declaration of Emancipation. The moment he put the pen on the paper, President Lincoln said, ‘If my name can be left in history, it will be because of this move. My whole soul is in this matter.
My whole soul is also today, on this day of January. My whole soul is in this matter. Let the United States unite, unite our people, unite our country. I ask all Americans to join me in this cause. Unite against the enemies we face, against anger, resentment and hatred, as well as extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, unemployment and despair.
With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can correct mistakes, we can make people have good jobs, we can educate our children in safe schools, we can defeat deadly viruses, we can restore our jobs, we can revitalize the middle class, we can make jobs secure, we can ensure racial justice, we can make beauty The country has become the leading force of world justice again.
I know that talking about unity now may sound like a stupid fantasy. I know that the power to divide us is deep and real. But I also know that they are not new. Our history is a constant struggle, on the one hand, our American ideals of being born equal, and on the other hand our cruel and ugly reality torn apart by racism, nativism and fear. The battle is long-term and the winner is unpredictable.
After the Civil War, the Great Depression, the World War, the events of September 11, and through struggles, sacrifices and setbacks, the kinder angels in our nature always prevail. At every moment of us, there are enough people to unite to lead us all forward, and we can do it now. History, faith and reason show us the way. ( That’s the road to unity.
We can think of each other as neighbors, not opponents. We can respect each other with dignity. We can unite, stop shouting and reduce anger. Because there is no peace without unity, only pain and anger, no progress, only exhausting anger. There is no country, only chaos. This is a historic moment when we face crises and challenges. Unity is the way forward. We must greet this moment on behalf of the United States of America.
If we do this, I promise we won’t fail. When we work together, the United States has never failed. So today, at this moment, here, let us all start over. Let’s start listening to each other again, seeing each other and respecting each other. Politics does not have to be a fire, destroying everything on its road. Every difference is not necessarily the cause of total war. We must reject the culture that the fact itself is manipulated or even fabricated.
My fellow Americans, we must be different. We must do better, and I believe that the United States is much better than this. Look around. Now we are standing in the shadow of the dome of the Capitol. As mentioned earlier, [the dome of the Capitol] was built in the shadow of the Civil War. At that time, the Commonwealth itself was in danger. We are tenacious and unyielding, and we win. We stood here and looked at Martin Luther King Jr. talking about his dream.
The place where we stand is where thousands of protesters tried to stop brave women from marching for the right to vote at the inauguration ceremony 108 years ago. And today, we witness the swearing-in of Vice President, Kamala Harris, the first woman elected to national public office. Don’t tell me that things will change. The place where we stand is where the heroes give all their lives and rest in eternal peace.
It is also where we stand, a few days ago, a group of mobs believed that they could use violence to suppress the will of the people, hinder our democratic cause, and drive us away from this sacred land. That didn’t happen, and it will never happen. Today, tomorrow will not, never, never. I want to say to all those who support our election that you trust us and make me extremely humble. And for those who don’t support us, please listen to me. On the way forward, please listen to our voices and test me and my heart.
If you still have objections, then there is an objection. This is democracy, and this is the United States, with the right to peacefully express dissent. Defending our democracy is perhaps the most powerful force in our country. Please listen carefully. Differences should not lead to division. I promise you that I will become the president of all Americans and the president of all Americans. I assure you that I will fight for those who do not support me, just like those who support me.
Many centuries ago, Saint Augustine of my church wrote that a people is defined by the goals they share a love. It is defined by their common goal. So what are the common goals that we Americans love and can define us as Americans? I think we all know. Opportunity, security, freedom, dignity, respect, honor, yes, and truth.
In recent weeks and months, we have learned a painful lesson. There are truths and lies. Lie for power and profit. As American citizens, especially as leaders, we all have a responsibility and obligation. Those leaders who promise to abide by the Constitution just to protect our country, defend the truth and defeat lies.
Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans are full of fear and fear of the future. I understand that they are worried about their work. I understand that like their father, they will stare at the ceiling at night and think, ‘Can I continue to enjoy medical care? Can I pay my mortgage? Thinking about their family and what will happen next. I promise you, I understand. But the answer is not infighting, not factional struggle. Don’t doubt people who are different from you or don’t appreciate the way you do things. They get information differently from you.
We must end this irreverent war between the two parties, between rural and urban, and between conservatives and liberals. If we open our souls, not the heart like a stone, we can do it. If we show a little tolerance and humility, if we are willing to think of each other, as my mother often says. Think from their perspective, even for a moment.
Because life is like this. No one can figure out how fate will treat you. In some days you will need help, and in other days, others need our help. That’s what we should be. This is what we do for each other. In this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous and more prepared for the future. And we can still reserve the objection.
Fellow Americans, we need to do the work before us. We need all the strength to get through this dark winter. We have entered the darkest and deadliest period of the epidemic. We must put politics aside and finally face this virus pandemic as a country and a people. I promise, as the Bible says, “Sadness may last overnight, but joy comes in the morning.” We will get through the difficulties together, together.
Look, folks, all my colleagues in the House and Senate, we all know that the whole world is watching, watching all of us today. This is my message to people outside the United States: America has withstood the test, and we have become stronger. We will repair our alliance and contact the world again. Not only meet the challenges of yesterday, but also the challenges of today and tomorrow. We will lead the world, not because of the strength we show, but because of the example we set.
Our fellow Americans, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors and colleagues, we will be proud to be the people and country we can and should be. Therefore, I ask you to pray silently for those who have lost their lives, those who are still there and our country. Amen.
Guys, this is a time to test. We face attacks on our democracy, attacks on truth, rampant viruses, sharp inequality, systemic racism, the climate crisis, and the role of the United States in the world. Any of these is profound enough to challenge us, but the fact is that we face all these problems at the same time, leaving this country to shoulder one of the greatest responsibilities we shoulder. Now we are going to meet the test. Are we going to take a step forward?
It’s time to be brave, because we still have a lot to do. I promise you, this is for sure. How we solve the cascade crisis of our time will be the standard for us to judge. We will face the difficulties. Can we control these rare and difficult times? Will we fulfill our obligation to pass on a new and better world to our children? I think we have to do this, and I’m sure you think so too. I believe we will do it, and when we do, we will write the story of America, the next great chapter in American history.
A story that sounds like a song that means a lot to me, which is called the National Anthem of the United States. There is also a poem that impressed me at least, which reads: “A century of work and prayer brings us to this day, and this will be our legacy. What will our children say? I know in my heart that when my years are coming to an end, America, ah, I give you my best things.
Let’s add our work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great country. If we do, then when our years are to an end, our children and grandchildren will say, “They do their best, they do their duty, they heal the broken land.”
My fellow Americans, let me end the day with the sacred vow at the beginning. In front of God and all of you, I promise you that I will always tell you the truth, I will defend the Constitution, and I will defend our democracy. I will defend America, I will give everything, and everything I do is to serve you. Don’t think about power but about possibility, don’t think about the personal interest, but the public interest.
Together, we will write an American story full of hope rather than fear, full of unity rather than division, full of light rather than darkness, a story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this story guide us, inspire us, and tell future generations that we have responded to the call of history, and we meet at this moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, do not die under our eyes, but thrive.
The United States guarantees domestic freedom and will once again become a beacon of the world. This is what we owe to our ancestors, to each other and to our future generations.
Therefore, with goals and determination, we have begun to start these tasks of our time. Faith is eternal, faith-driven, dedicated to each other, and wholeheartedly love the country we love. May God bless America and God bless our army.
Thank you, USA.