My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us , grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mind ful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nati on, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presiden tial oath. The words have been spoken during ris ing tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken ami dst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply beca use of the skill or vision of those in high offi ce, but because We the People have remained fait hful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true t o our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generati on of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well u nderstood. Our nation is at war, against a far-r eaching network of violence and hatred. Our econ omy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed an d 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 be en lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our he alth care is too costly; our schools fail too ma ny; and each day brings further evidence that th e ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to d ata and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our l and - a nagging fear that America's decline is i nevitable, and that the next generation must low er its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face a re real. They are serious and they are many. The y will not be met easily or in a short span of t ime. But know this, America - they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen ho pe over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the p etty grievances and false promises, the recrimin ations and worn out dogmas, that for far too lon g have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Sc ripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our endur ing spirit; to choose our better history; to car ry 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 m easure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we u nderstand that greatness is never a given. It mu st be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleas ures 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 obs cure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom .

For us, they packed up their few worldly possess ions and traveled across oceans in search of a n ew life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled th e West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Con cord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sac rificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw Ameri ca as bigger than the sum of our individual ambi tions; 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 thi s 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. But our time of s tanding pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick our selves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again t he work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done . The state of the economy calls for action, bol d and swift, and we will act - not only to creat e new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for grow th. We will build the roads and bridges, the ele ctric grids and digital lines that feed our comm erce and bind us together. We will restore scien ce to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lowe r its cost. We will harness the sun and the wind s and the soil to fuel our cars and run our fact ories. And we will transform our schools and col leges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we wil l do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of ou r ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this countr y has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common pur pose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the g round 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 c an afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. W here the answer is no, programs will end. And th ose of us who manage the public's dollars will b e 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 tru st 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 genera te wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but t his crisis has reminded us that without a watchf ul eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favor s only the prosperous. The success of our econom y has always depended not just on the size of ou r Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of ou r prosperity; on our ability to extend opportuni ty to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false th e choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarc ely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rul e of law and the rights of man, a charter expand ed by the blood of generations. Those ideals sti ll light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peop les and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village wher e my father was born: know that America is a fri end of each nation and every man, woman, and chi ld who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fasci sm and communism not just with missiles and tank s, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convic tions. They understood that our power alone cann ot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as w e please. Instead, they knew that our power grow s through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of ou r example, the tempering qualities of humility a nd restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by the se principles once more, we can meet those new t hreats that demand even greater effort - even gr eater cooperation and understanding between nati ons. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afg hanistan. With old friends and former foes, we w ill 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 waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror an d slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; yo u cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a str ength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christ ians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-beli evers. We are shaped by every language and cultu re, drawn from every end of this Earth; and beca use we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark cha pter stronger and more united, we cannot help bu t believe that the old hatreds shall someday pas s; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common huma nity shall reveal itself; and that America 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 c onflict, or blame their society's ills on the We st - know that your people will judge you on wha t you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to 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 you r fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and l et 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 suffering outsi de our borders; nor can we consume the world's r esources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Am ericans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off d eserts and distant mountains. They have somethin g to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes wh o lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians o f our liberty, but because they embody the spiri t of service; a willingness to find meaning in s omething greater than themselves. And yet, at th is moment - a moment that will define a generati on - it is precisely this spirit that must inhab it us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of th e American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when t he 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 depends - hard work and h onesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and cur iosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things ar e 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 trut hs. What is required of us now is a new era of r esponsibility - a recognition, on the part of ev ery 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 satis fying to the spirit, so defining of our characte r, than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowl edge 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 t his magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been s erved at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the yea r of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfi res on the shores of an icy river. The capital w as abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the out come of our revolution was most in doubt, the fa ther of our nation ordered these words be read t o the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in th e depth of winter, when nothing but hope and vir tue could survive...that the city and the countr y, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to m eet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in t his winter of our hardship, let us remember thes e timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us b rave 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 ba ck nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried for th that great gift of freedom and delivered it s afely to future generations.













為了我們,先輩們帶著微薄的細軟,橫渡大洋,尋找新生活;為了我們,先輩們忍辱負重,用血汗澆鑄工廠;為了我們,先輩們在荒蕪的西部大地辛勤耕作,定居他鄉;為了我們,先輩們奔赴(獨立戰爭中的)康科德城和葛底斯堡、(二戰中的)諾曼底、(越戰中的)Khe Sahn,他們征戰、死去。



我目之所及,都有工作有待完成。國家的經濟情況要求我們採取大膽且快速的行動,我們的確是要行動,不僅是要創造就業,更要為(下一輪經濟)增長打下新的基礎。我們將造橋鋪路,為企業鋪設電網和數字線路,將我們聯繫在一起。我們將回歸科學,運用科技的奇跡提高醫療質量,降低醫療費用。我們將利用風能、太陽能和土壤驅動車輛,為工廠提供能源。我們將改革中小學以及大專院校,以適應新時代的要求。這一切,我們都能做到,而且我們都將會做到。 (環球在線:楊潔 霍默靜)


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