On Wednesday, President Joe Biden gave his first speech after he and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in,
Speaking from the National Mall in Washington D.C., Biden began his speech saying, “This is America’s day, this is democracies day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge.”
“Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate,” Biden continued, “but of a cause. The cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people, has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.”
Biden won the presidency after receiving more than 81 million votes, the most for any presidential candidate in U.S. election history. During the election, President Donald Trump received more than 74 million votes, making him the second-highest vote-getter in U.S. election history.
Trump raised numerous challenges to the 2020 election results, but lawmakers ultimately counted the electoral college votes to certify Biden as the President on Jan. 6. Biden received 302 electoral college votes to Trump’s 236. The counting of the electoral college votes came hours after demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol and interrupted the congressional session hours earlier in the day.
Some 25,000 National Guard members were called in to provide security and support for the inauguration, and an additional 2,750 active-duty U.S. troops were also brought in to help support the event Wednesday.
“This is a great nation. We’re good people, and over the centuries through storm and strife, peace and war, we’ve come so far, but we still have far to go,” Biden continued. “We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities.”
Biden said, as president, “The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.”
Biden said the U.S. must confront and defeat “the rise of political extremism, white supremacy and terrorism.”
Biden said, “My whole soul is in this; bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation, and I ask every American to join me in this cause.”
“With unity, we can do great things – important things. We can right wrongs, we can put people to work in good jobs, we can teach our children in safe schools, we can overcome the deadly virus, we can reward work and rebuild the middle class and make healthcare secure for all, we can deliver racial justice, and we can make America once again the leading force of good in the world.”
Biden went on to say, “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes.”
Biden concluded his speech saying, “May God bless America, and may God protect our troops.”