George W. Bush - First Inaugural Address

  • President George W. Bush's Inaugural Address

  • George W. Bush

    President Clinton, distinguished guests and my fellow citizens, the peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country.

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  • With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings.

  • As I begin, I thank President Clinton for his service to our nation.

  • And I thank Vice President Gore for a contest conducted with spirit and ended with grace.

  • I am honored and humbled to stand here, where so many of America's leaders have come before me, and so many will follow.

  • We have a place, all of us, in a long story--a story we continue, but whose end we will not see.

  • George W. Bush

    It is the story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer.

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  • It is the American story--a story of flawed and fallible people, united across the generations by grand and enduring ideals.

  • The grandest of these ideals is an unfolding American promise that everyone belongs, that everyone deserves a chance, that no insignificant person was ever born.

  • Americans are called to enact this promise in our lives and in our laws.

  • And though our nation has sometimes halted, and sometimes delayed, we must follow no other course.

  • Through much of the last century, America's faith in freedom and democracy was a rock in a raging sea.

  • George W. Bush

    Now it is a seed upon the wind, taking root in many nations.

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  • Our democratic faith is more than the creed of our country, it is the inborn hope of our humanity, an ideal we carry but do not own, a trust we bear and pass along.

  • And even after nearly 225 years, we have a long way yet to travel.

  • While many of our citizens prosper, others doubt the promise, even the justice, of our own country.

  • The ambitions of some Americans are limited by failing schools and hidden prejudice and the circumstances of their birth.

  • And sometimes our differences run so deep, it seems we share a continent, but not a country.

  • George W. Bush

    We do not accept this, and we will not allow it.

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