Obama calls for ‘one people, one nation’


Man with a vision: US President Barack Obama, lower left, takes the oath of office during the 57th Presidential inauguration ceremonial swearing-in at the US Capitol in Washington, yesterday. The oath is administered by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.AFP

Washington: President Barack Obama yesterday urged a divided America to come together to address challenges from the economy to education to infrastructure as he was sworn in for a second term.

"Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people," Obama said in an address from the Capitol steps. Obama vowed to renew "strong alliances" around the world, saying that the United States was committed to finding security without "perpetual war." "America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe," Obama said from the Capitol steps as he was inaugurated for a second term.

"And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has the greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation," Obama said.Pointing to the end of the Iraq war and the coming withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan, Obama said: "We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."

But Obama vowed to "support democracy — from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.""And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalised, the victims of prejudice — not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice."

The Obama administration has strengthened ties with US allies in Asia in response to what several nations see as growing assertiveness by China.Obama pushed the case for equal rights for women and a better system to welcome new immigrants to the United States.
"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still," he declared, citing precedents from America's civil and women's rights struggles.

"It is now our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began.  For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts," he continued."Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity."

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