“Hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. I will be the President for all Americans. I will fight as hard for those who didn’t support me as those who did.”
So said Joseph R. Biden at his inauguration ceremony as the 46th President of the United States Of America. His speech, which followed performances of the National Anthem by Lady Gaga and “This Land Is Your Land” by Jennifer Lopez, clearly sought to unify the country after a contentious presidential election.
“Without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. Unity is the path forward.”
He said, “I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days, I know the forces that divide are deep and they are real. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we’re all created equal and the harsh ugly reality of racism, nativism, fear, demonization. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge — and unity is the path forward.”
“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.
“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. May this be the story that guides, the story that inspires us.”
As he always does, he ended the speech by saying, “May God bless America, and may God protect our troops.”
Watch the speech below.