It Was, Quite Simply, History

January 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
"I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear... that I will execute the office of President to the United States faithfully... that I will execute?"While Chief Justice John Roberts might not have recited the oath of office word for word, he could not trip up Barack Obama, who after getting a thumbs up from Daughter Sasha, addressed the nation and the world as the 44th and first African-American President of the United States.

"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America, they will be met," said Obama.

An estimated 1.4 million spectators, who braved frigid temperatures and packed the national mall, heard Obama offer new beginnings. "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."

Obama also appealed for a new era of responsibility. "?A recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly."

At the ceremonial lunch at the capitol, Senator Ted Kennedy, suffering from brain cancer had to be rushed to the hospital after apparently suffering convulsions. "I would be lying to you if I did not say that right now a part of me is with him," said Obama.

Afterwards, President Barack Obama along with First Lady Michelle Obama, greeted hundreds of thousands of onlookers gathered along the inaugural parade route.

Tomorrow, Obama is expected to make good on his campaign promise by ordering the Joint Chiefs of Staff to begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq under a 16-month timetable.

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