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Inauguration quotes by US presidents through the ages


dpa/GNA – Many of the famous quotes associated with US presidents come from their inaugural addresses. The following quotes are some of the most memorable:

George Washington’s first inaugural speech, 1789: “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural speech, 1865, weeks before the end of the US Civil War and his own assassination: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”

Theodore Roosevelt, 1905: “Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves, and we can shirk neither.”

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Woodrow Wilson, 1917, re-elected on a platform of neutrality toward World War I, began his second term less than a month before the US declaration of war: “We are provincials no longer. The tragic events of the 30 months of vital turmoil through which we have just passed have made us citizens of the world. There can be no turning back.”

Herbert Hoover, 1929, months before the Wall Street crash that marked the start of the Great Depression: “We have reached a higher degree of comfort and security than ever existed before in the history of the world.”

Franklin D Roosevelt, 1933, in his first of an unequaled four inaugural speeches: “This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

John F Kennedy, 1961: “My fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

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Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address, 1981: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Bill Clinton’s first inaugural speech, 1993: “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”

Barack Obama’s first inaugural speech, 2009: “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.”

Obama’s second inaugural speech, 2013: “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.”

Donald Trump’s inaugural speech, 2017: “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”