Barack Obama took the oath of office today as the 44th president of the United States and pledged to "begin again the work of remaking America."
Adressing a huge throng estimated at more than 2 million people on the capital's Mall and millions of others watching on television, Obama recognized the multiple crises now afflicting the nation at a time of war abroad and economic turmoil at home. But he sought to rally Americans to a "new era of responsibility" and the promise of a brighter future.
He cited a profound 'sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights." The challenges are real, serious and many, and "they will not be met easily or in a short span of time," he said.
But know this, America -- they will be met. 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 worn out dogma's, that for far too long have strangled our politics."
Obama continued: "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."