More than 800,000 people filled the National Mall in Washington D.C. Monday to watch President Barack Obama take his oath for a second term in office.
During the president’s speech, he stressed one defining theme: “Our journey is not over.”
Obama began with a brief history of the country, pointing out significant moments in the nation’s journey, starting with the American Revolution and said the Founding Fathers “did not replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob.”
In his speech, Obama named several specific priorities, including critical issues like fair economic
competition and the care of vulnerable citizens. He also spoke of issues from equal pay for women to immigration laws.
He stressed the importance of working together as a nation.
“The American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias … Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people,” Obama said.
Obama was the first sitting president to openly address the subject of gay rights in an inaugural address.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law—for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” he said.
Toward the close of his speech, the president commented on the battles that have ensued within Congress.
“We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics or treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” he said.
Obama ended his speech by saying the oath he had just taken resembled the oath of those in the armed forces as well as the oath taken by citizens as they pledge allegiance to the American flag.