INAUGURAL CEREMONY
(Senate - January 20, 2009)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Pages S667-S670]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                           INAUGURAL CEREMONY

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Inaugural 
Ceremony proceedings be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                           Inaugural Ceremony

       Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama, January 20, 2009, 
     11:30 a.m.
       The Joint Chiefs of Staff assembled on the President's 
     platform.
       The Diplomatic Corps assembled on the President's platform.
       The Governors of the United States and its territories and 
     the Mayor of the District of Columbia assembled on the 
     President's platform.
       Members of the 111th House of Representatives of the United 
     States, led by majority whip James E. Clyburn and Republican 
     whip Eric Cantor, assembled on the President's platform.
       Members of the Senate of the United States assembled on the 
     President's platform.
       Former Speakers of the House of Representatives, Thomas 
     Foley and Newt Gingrich, accompanied by Mrs. Foley and Mrs. 
     Gingrich, assembled on the President's platform.
       Former Vice Presidents Walter Mondale, Dan Quayle, and Al 
     Gore, accompanied by Mrs. Mondale, Mrs. Quayle, and Mrs. 
     Gore, assembled on the President's platform.
       Mr. William M. Daley, Ms. Penny Pritzker, Mr. John W. 
     Rogers, Jr., Mr. Patrick G. Ryan, and Ms. Julianna Smoot, 
     cochairs of the 56th Presidential Inaugural Committee; and 
     Mr. Emmett S. Beliveau, executive director of the 56th 
     Presidential Inaugural Committee, assembled on the 
     President's platform.
       The President-elect's Cabinet and agency designees 
     assembled on the President's platform.
       The Chief Justice of the United States, the Honorable John 
     G. Roberts, Jr., and the Associate Justices of the Supreme 
     Court of the United States assembled on the President's 
     platform.
       The 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, and 
     Mrs. Rosalynn Carter assembled on the President's platform.
       The 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, 
     and Mrs. Barbara Bush assembled on the President's platform.
       The 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson 
     Clinton, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton assembled on the 
     President's platform.
       The children of the Vice President-elect, CPT Beau Biden, 
     Hunter Biden, and Ashley Biden, accompanied by House Chief 
     Administrative Officer Dan Beard, assembled on the 
     President's platform.
       Mrs. Marian Robinson and the daughters of the President-
     elect, Malia and Sasha Obama, accompanied by Assistant 
     Secretary of the Senate Sheila Dwyer, assembled on the 
     President's platform.
       The First Lady, Mrs. Laura Bush, and the wife of the Vice 
     President, Mrs. Lynne Cheney, accompanied by Secretary Chao, 
     Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Boehner, and Republican staff director of 
     the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, Mary 
     Suit Jones, assembled on the President's platform.
       Mrs. Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, accompanied by the 
     Secretary of the Senate, Nancy Erickson; the Clerk of the 
     House of Representatives, Lorraine Miller; Mr. Blum, Mr. 
     Pelosi, and Mrs. Reid, assembled on the President's platform.
       The President of the United States, the Honorable George 
     Walker Bush, and the Vice President of the United States, 
     Dick Cheney, accompanied by Senate Republican leader Mitch 
     McConnell, Senator Robert Bennett, House Republican leader, 
     Representative John Boehner, and Secretary for the minority 
     David Schiappa, assembled on the President's platform.
       The Vice President-elect of the United States, Joseph R. 
     Biden, Jr., accompanied by the inaugural coordinator for the 
     Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, 
     Jennifer Griffith; Senate Deputy Sergeant at Arms Drew 
     Wilson; House Deputy Sergeant at Arms Kerri Hanley; Senate 
     majority leader, Senator Harry Reid; House majority leader, 
     Representative Steny Hoyer, assembled on the President's 
     platform.
       The President-elect of the United States, Barack H. Obama, 
     accompanied by the staff director for the Joint Congressional 
     Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Howard Gantman; the Senate 
     Sergeant at Arms, Terrence W. Gainer; the House Sergeant at 
     Arms, Wilson Livingood; chairman of the Joint Congressional 
     Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Senator Dianne Feinstein; 
     Senator Robert Bennett; the Speaker of the House of 
     Representatives, Nancy Pelosi; the Senate majority leader, 
     Harry Reid; House majority leader, Representative Steny 
     Hoyer; House Republican leader, Representative John Boehner, 
     assembled on the President's platform.
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President and Vice President, Mr. 
     President-elect and Vice President-elect, ladies and 
     gentlemen, welcome to the inauguration of the 44th President 
     of the United States of America.
       (Applause.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. The world is watching today as our great 
     democracy engages in this peaceful transition of power. Here 
     on the National Mall, where we remember the founders of our 
     Nation and those who fought to make it free, we gather to 
     etch another line in the solid stone of history. The freedom 
     of a people to choose its leaders is the root of liberty. In 
     a world where political strife is too often settled with 
     violence, we come here every 4 years to bestow the power of 
     the Presidency upon our democratically elected leader.
       Those who doubt the supremacy of the ballot over the bullet 
     can never diminish the power engendered by nonviolent 
     struggles for justice and equality like the one that made 
     this day possible. No triumph tainted by brutality could ever 
     match the sweet victory of this hour and of what it means to 
     those who marched and died to make it a reality. Our work is 
     not yet finished, but future generations will mark this 
     morning as the turning point for real and necessary change in 
     our Nation. They will look back and remember that this was 
     the moment when the dream that once echoed across history 
     from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial finally reached the 
     walls of the White House.
       (Applause.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. In that spirit, we today not only 
     inaugurate a new administration, we pledge ourselves to the 
     hope, the vision, the unity, and the renewed call to 
     greatness inspired by the 44th President of the United 
     States, Barack Obama.
       (Applause.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Thank you, and God bless America.
       (Applause.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. At this time I call upon Dr. Rick Warren, 
     pastor of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA, to 
     provide the invocation.
       Pastor WARREN. Let us pray.
       Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything 
     we can't see exists because of You alone. It all comes from 
     You. It all belongs to You. It all exists for Your glory. 
     History is Your story. The scripture tells us: Hear, O 
     Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. And You are the 
     compassionate and merciful one, and You are loving to every 
     one You have made. Now, today, we rejoice, not only in 
     America's peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time, we 
     celebrate a hinge point of history, with the inauguration of 
     our first African-American President of the United States. We 
     are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled 
     possibility, where the son of an African American can rise to 
     the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that 
     Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in 
     heaven.
       Give to our new President Barack Obama the wisdom to lead 
     us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the 
     compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, 
     his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and every one 
     of our freely elected leaders. Help us, O God, to remember 
     that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or 
     blood but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.
       When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when 
     we forget You, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness 
     and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to 
     treat our fellow human beings and all the Earth with the 
     respect that they deserve, forgive us.
       As we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new 
     birth of clarity in aims, responsibility in our actions, 
     humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, 
     even when we differ. Help us to share, to serve, and to seek 
     the common good of all. May all people of goodwill today join 
     together to work for a more just, a more healthy, and a more 
     prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never 
     forget that one day all nations and all people will stand 
     accountable before You.
       We now commit our new President and his wife Michelle and 
     his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into Your loving care. I 
     humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, 
     Yeshua, Esau, Jesus, Jesus, who taught us to pray: Our 
     Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom 
     come. Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us 
     this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we 
     forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into 
     temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom 
     and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
       (Applause.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I am so pleased to introduce world renowned 
     musical artist Aretha Franklin to sing ``My Country Tis of 
     Thee.''
       (Performance by Ms. Aretha Franklin.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Please join me in welcoming my colleague 
     from Utah, the Honorable Robert Bennett.
       Mr. BENNETT. It is my great honor to introduce Associate 
     Justice of the Supreme

[[Page S668]]

     Court of the United States John Paul Stevens, who will 
     administer the oath of office to the Vice President-elect. 
     Will you all please stand.
       Associate Justice JOHN PAUL STEVENS administered to the 
     Vice President-elect the oath of office prescribed by the 
     Constitution, which he repeated, as follows:
       ``I, JOSEPH ROBINETTE BIDEN, JR. do solemnly swear that I 
     will support and defend the Constitution of the United States 
     against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear 
     true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this 
     obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose 
     of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the 
     duties of my office on which I am about to enter. So help me 
     God.''
       (Applause.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. It is my pleasure to introduce a unique 
     musical performance: Mr. Itzhak Perlman, violinist; Anthony 
     McGill, clarinet; Yo-Yo Ma, cellist; and Gabriela Montero, 
     pianist, performing ``Air and Simple Gifts,'' a composition 
     arranged for this occasion by John Williams.
       (Performance by Mr. Yo-Yo Ma, Mr. Anthony McGill, Ms. 
     Gabriela Montero, and Mr. Itzhak Perlman.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. It is my distinct honor to present the 
     Chief Justice of the United States, the Honorable John G. 
     Roberts, Jr., who will administer the Presidential oath of 
     office. Everyone, please stand.
       The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, JOHN G. ROBERTS, 
     JR., administered to the President-elect the oath of office 
     prescribed by the Constitution, which he repeated, as 
     follows:
       ``I, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, do solemnly swear that I will 
     faithfully execute the office of President of the United 
     States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, 
     protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So 
     Help me God.''
       THE CHIEF JUSTICE. Congratulations, Mr. President.
       (Applause.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great 
     personal honor to present the 44th President of these United 
     States, Barack Obama.
       (Applause.)
       The PRESIDENT. Thank you. Thank you.
       My fellow citizens, I stand here today humbled by the task 
     before us, grateful for the trust you bestowed, mindful of 
     the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush 
     for his service to our Nation, as well as the generosity and 
     cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
       Forty-four Americans have now taken the Presidential oath. 
     The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity 
     and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath 
     is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these 
     moments, America has carried on not simply because of the 
     skill or vision of those in high office but because we, the 
     people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears 
     and true to our founding documents. So it has been. So it 
     must be with this generation of Americans.
       That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. 
     Our Nation is at war against a far-reaching network of 
     violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a 
     consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some 
     but also our collective failure to make hard choices and 
     prepare the Nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs 
     shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; 
     our schools fail too many; and each day brings further 
     evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our 
     adversaries and threaten our planet. These are the indicators 
     of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable 
     but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our 
     land, a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, 
     that the next generation must lower its sights.
       Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. 
     They are serious, and they are many. They will not be met 
     easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America--
     they will be met.
       (Applause.)
       On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over 
     fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this 
     day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and 
     false promises, the recriminations and wornout dogmas that 
     for far too long have strained our politics. We remain a 
     young Nation, but in the words of scripture: The time has 
     come to set aside childish things. The time has come to 
     reaffirm our enduring spirit, to choose our better history, 
     to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea passed 
     on from generation to generation, the God-given promise that 
     all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to 
     pursue their full measure of happiness.
       (Applause.)
       In reaffirming the greatness of our Nation, we understand 
     that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our 
     journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. 
     It has not been the path for the fainthearted, for those who 
     prefer leisure over work or seek only the pleasures of riches 
     and fame. Rather, it has been the risk takers, the doers, the 
     makers of things, some celebrated but more often men and 
     women obscure in their labor who have carried us up the long 
     rugged path towards prosperity and freedom. For us, they 
     packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across 
     oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in 
     sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the 
     whip, and plowed the hard earth. For us, they fought and died 
     in places like Concord and Gettysburg, Normandy and Khe Sahn.
       Time and again, these men and women struggled and 
     sacrificed and worked until their hands were raw so that we 
     might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the 
     sum of our individual ambitions, greater than all the 
     differences of birth or wealth or faction.
       This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most 
     prosperous, powerful Nation on Earth. Our workers are no less 
     productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less 
     inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they 
     were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity 
     remains undiminished, and our time of standing pat and 
     protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant 
     decisions--that time has surely passed. Starting today, we 
     must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again 
     the work of remaking America.
       (Applause.)
       For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state 
     of our economy calls for action, bold and swift. And we will 
     act, not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation 
     for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric 
     grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us 
     together. We will restore science to its rightful place 
     and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's 
     quality and lower its cost. We will harness the Sun and 
     the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our 
     factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges 
     and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All 
     this we can do. All this we will do.
       Now, there are some who question the scale of our 
     ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too 
     many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have 
     forgotten what this country has already done, what free men 
     and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common 
     purpose and necessity to courage. What the cynics fail to 
     understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that 
     the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so 
     long no longer apply.
       The question we ask today is not whether our Government is 
     too big or too small but whether it works--whether it helps 
     families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a 
     retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is, yes, we 
     intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will 
     end. Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held 
     to account--to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our 
     business in the light of day--because only then can we 
     restore the vital trust between a people and their 
     Government.
       Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force 
     for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand 
     freedom is unmatched. But this crisis has reminded us that 
     without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control 
     and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the 
     prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended 
     not just on the size of our gross domestic product but on the 
     reach of our prosperity, on the ability to extend opportunity 
     to every willing heart--not out of charity but because it is 
     the surest route to our common good.
       (Applause.)
       As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice 
     between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, 
     faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a 
     charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a 
     charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals 
     still light the world, and we will not give them up for 
     expedience sake. And so to all the other peoples and 
     governments who are watching today, from the grandest 
     capitals to the small village where my father was born, know 
     that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, 
     and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity and that we 
     are ready to lead once more.
       (Applause.)
       Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and 
     communism not just with missiles and tanks but with sturdy 
     alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our 
     power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do 
     as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through 
     its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of 
     our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities 
     of humility and restraint. We are the keepers of this legacy. 
     Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new 
     threats that demand even greater effort, even greater 
     cooperation and understanding between nations.
       We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and 
     forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends 
     and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the 
     nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet. 
     We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waiver 
     in its defense. And for those who seek to advance their aims 
     by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you 
     now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You 
     cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
       (Applause.)
       For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not 
     a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews 
     and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language 
     and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth. And because 
     we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation 
     and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, 
     we cannot help

[[Page S669]]

     but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the 
     lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows 
     smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that 
     American must play its role in ushering in a new era of 
     peace.
       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.
       (Applause.)
       To those who claim 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.
       (Applause.)
       To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside 
     you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to 
     nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those 
     nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can 
     no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our 
     borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without 
     regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must 
     change with it.
       As we consider the role that unfolds before us, we will 
     remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who at 
     this very hour patrol far off deserts and distant mountains. 
     They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who 
     lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not 
     only because they are the guardians of our liberty but 
     because they embody the spirit of service, a willingness to 
     find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet at 
     this moment--a moment that will define a generation--it is 
     precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all. For as much 
     as Government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith 
     and determination of the American people upon which this 
     Nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when 
     the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would 
     rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which 
     sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's 
     courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke but also a 
     parent's willingness to nurture a child that finally decides 
     our fate.
       Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we 
     meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success 
     defends--honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, 
     tolerance and curiosities, loyalty and patriotism--these 
     things are old. These things are true. They have been the 
     quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is 
     demanded, then, is a return to these truths; what is required 
     of us now is a new era of responsibility--a recognition, on 
     the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, 
     our Nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly 
     accept but, rather, seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that 
     there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of 
     our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
       This is the price and the promise of citizenship. This is 
     the source of our confidences--the knowledge that God calls 
     on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
       This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed--why men 
     and women and children of every race and every faith can join 
     in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man 
     whose father, less than 60 years ago, might not have been 
     served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take 
     a most sacred oath.
       (Applause.)
       So let us mark this day with remembrance of who we are and 
     how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in 
     the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by 
     dying camp fires on the shores of an icy river; the capital 
     was abandoned, the enemy was advancing, the snow was stained 
     with blood; at a moment when the outcome of our Revolution 
     was most in doubt, the Father of our Nation ordered these 
     words be read to the people:

       Let it be told to the future world . . . that in the depth 
     of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive . . 
     . that the city and the country, alarmed at one common 
     danger, came forth to meet [it].
       America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter 
     of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. 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.
       Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States 
     of America.
       (Applause.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I have the distinct pleasure of introducing 
     an American poet, Elizabeth Alexander.
       Ms. ALEXANDER. ``Praise Song for the Day.''

     Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, 
           catching each other's eyes or not, about to speak or 
           speaking.

     All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, 
           thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our 
           tongues.

     Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, 
           patching a tire, repairing the things in need or 
           repair.

     Someone is trying to make music somewhere, with a pair of 
           wooden spoons on an oil drum, with cello, boom box, 
           harmonica, voice.

     A woman and her son wait for the bus. A father considers the 
           changing sky. A teacher says, ``Take out your pencils. 
           Begin.''

     We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, 
           whispered or declaimed, words to consider, reconsider.

     We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of some 
           one and then others, who said I need to see what's on 
           the other side.

     I know there's something better down the road. We need to 
           find a place where we are safe. We walk into that which 
           we cannot yet see.

     Say it plain: that many have died for this day. Sing the 
           names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the 
           train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and 
           the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering 
           edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

     Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day. Praise 
           song for every hand-lettered sign, the figuring-it-out 
           at kitchen tables.

     Some live by love thy neighbor as thy self, others by first 
           do no harm or take no more than you need. What if the 
           mightiest word is love?

     Love beyond marital, filial, national, love that casts a 
           widening pool of light, love with no need to pre-empt 
           grievance.

     In today's sharp sparkle, the winter air, any thing can be 
           made, any sentence begun. On the brink, on the brim, on 
           the cusp,

     praise song for walking forward in that light.

       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. And now it is my privilege to introduce the 
     Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery to deliver the benediction.
       Reverend LOWERY. God of our weary years, God of our silent 
     tears, Thou who hast brought us thus far along the way, Thou 
     who has by the might, led us into the light, keep us forever 
     in the path we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, our 
     God, where we met Thee; lest our hearts drunk with the wine 
     of the world we forget Thee, shadowed beneath Thy hand, may 
     we forever stand true to our God and true to our native land.
       We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we have 
     shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon 
     thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th President of these United 
     States, his family and his administration. He has come to 
     this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, 
     global fiscal climate. But because we know you have got the 
     whole world in Your hands, we pray for not only our Nation 
     but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, 
     though pressed by the flood of mortal ills, for we know that, 
     Lord, You are able and You are willing to work through 
     faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our 
     brokenness, heal our wounds, and deliver us from the 
     exploitation of the poor, the least of these, as well as 
     favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.
       We thank You for the empowering of Thy servant, our 44th 
     President, to inspire our Nation to believe that, yes, we can 
     work together to achieve a more perfect Union. While we have 
     sown the wind of greed and corruption and even as we reap the 
     whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek 
     forgiveness and we come in the spirit of unity and solidarity 
     to commit our support to our President by willingness to make 
     sacrifices necessary to respect Your creation, to turn to 
     each other and not on each other.
       And now Lord, in the complex arena of human relationships, 
     help us to make choices on the side of love not hate, on the 
     side of inclusion not exclusion, tolerance not intolerance. 
     And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the 
     spirit of fellowship, of koinonia, and the oneness of our 
     family. And take that spiritual power back to our homes, our 
     workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, wherever 
     we seek Your will.
       Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle, look over our 
     little ``angelics,'' Sasha and Malia. We go now to walk 
     together, children, pledging that we won't get weary in the 
     difficult days ahead. We know You will not leave us alone 
     with Your hands of power and Your heart of love. Help us, 
     then, now Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not 
     lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into 
     tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his 
     or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when 
     justice will roll down like water and righteousness as a 
     mighty stream.
       Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors 
     rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask You to help 
     us work for that day when Black will not be asked to get 
     back, when Brown can stick around, when Yellow will be 
     mellow, when the Red man can get ahead man, and when White 
     will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and 
     love mercy say amen. Say amen. And amen. Amen.
       (Applause.)
       Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the 
     singing of our national anthem by the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters 
     Chorus. Following the anthem, please remain in place while 
     the presidential party exits the platform. Thank you very 
     much.

[[Page S670]]

       (Performance by the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters.)
       (The Inagural ceremony was concluded at 12:36 p.m.)

                          ____________________