My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

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.

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 dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is 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, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.









現在大家都知道我們正置身危機核心,我國正處於對抗深遠暴力和憎恨的戰爭。我們的經濟元氣大傷,是某些人貪婪且不負責任的後果,也是大眾未能做出艱難的選 擇,為國家進入新時代做準備所致。許多人失去房子,丟了工作,生意垮了。我們的醫療照護太昂貴,學校教育辜負了許多人。每天都有更多證據顯示,我們利用能 源的方式壯大我們的對敵,威脅我們的星球。






再次肯定我們國家的偉大,我們瞭解偉大絕非賜予而來,必須努力達成。我們的旅程從來就不是抄捷徑或很容易就滿足。這條路一直都不是給不勇敢的人走的,那些 偏好逸樂勝過工作,或者只想追求名利就滿足的人。恰恰相反,走這條路的始終是勇於冒險的人,做事的人,成事的人,其中有些人很出名,但更常見的是在各自崗 位上的男男女女無名英雄,在這條漫長崎嶇的道路上支撐我們,邁向繁榮與自由。





這是我們今天繼續前進的旅程。我們仍舊是全球最繁榮強盛的國家。這場危機爆發時,我們的勞工生產力並未減弱。我們的心智一樣創新,我們的產品和勞務和上週 或上個月或去年相比,一樣是必需品。我們的能力並未減損。但是我們墨守成規、維護狹小利益、推遲引人不悅的決定,這段時期肯定已經過去。從今天起,我們必 須重新出發、再次展開再造美國的工程。


我們無論朝何處望去,都有工作必須完成。經濟情勢需要大膽、迅速的行動,我們將有所行動,不光是創造新工作,更要奠定成長的新基礎。我們將造橋鋪路,為企 業興建電力網格與數位線路,將我們聯繫在一起。我們將讓科學回歸合適的用途,運用科技的奇蹟來提高醫療品質並降低費用。我們將利用太陽能、風力和土壤作為 汽車的燃料和工廠的能源。我們將讓中小學及大專院校轉型,因應新時代的需要。這些我們可以作到。我們也將會作到。


懷疑者無法理解的是他們的主張已經站不住腳,長期以來折磨我們的陳腐政治爭議已經行不通。我們今天的問題不是政府太大或太小,而是有無功效,是否能幫助家 庭找到薪水不錯的工作,支付得起照顧費用,有尊嚴的退休。哪個方向能夠提供肯定的答案,我們就往那裡走。答案是否定的地方,計畫就會停止。所有我們這些管 理大眾金錢的人都將負起責任,花錢要精明,改掉惡習,正大光明作事情,只有這樣我們才能重建政府與人民間最重要的信任。

我們眼前的問題也不是說市場的力量是善或惡。市場創造財富和增加自由的力量無與倫比,但是這場危機提醒我們沒有監督時,市場發展將失控,當市場只偏愛有錢 人時,國家無法永續繁榮。我們經濟成功的依據,不只是國內生產毛額的規模,還有繁榮可及的範圍,以及我們將機會拓展給每個願意打拚的人,不是因為施捨,而 是因為這就是達到我們共同利益最穩健的途徑。

至於我們的共同防衛,我們認為必須在我們的自由和理想之間作一抉擇是不確實的,我們拒絕接受。我們建國諸父在我們難以想像的危難之中。擬具了確保法治和人 權的憲章,被一代代以鮮血擴大充實的憲章。這些理想依然照亮這個世界,我們不會為了便宜行事而揚棄它。同樣地,今日在觀看此情此景的其他民族和政府,從最 宏偉的都城到家父出生的小村莊,我要說:任何一個國家、男、女、和孩童,只要你在追求一個和平且有尊嚴的未來,美國就是你的朋友,我們準備再次帶領大家。


回想先前的世代力抗法西斯主義和共產主義,靠的除了飛彈和戰車之外,還有強固的聯盟和持久的信念。他們知道單單力量本身不足以讓我們自保,也不能讓我們為 所欲為。相反地,他們知道我們的力量因為謹慎使用而增強,我們的安全源自我們理想的正當性,我們所樹立楷模的力量,以及謙遜和克制所具有的調和特質。

我們是這些遺產的保存者。在這些原則的再次指引下,我們可以面對那些新的威脅,這些威脅有賴國與國間更大的合作與諒解方能因應。我們將開始以負責任的方式 把伊拉克還給它的人民,並在阿富汗建立贏來不易的和平。我們會努力不懈地與老朋友和昔日的對手合作,以減輕核子威脅,和地球的暖化。我們不會為我們的生活 方式而道歉,也會毫不動搖地保護它,對那些想要藉由帶來恐怖與殺害無辜以遂其目的者,我們現在告訴你,我們的精神強過你們,無法摧折,你們不可能比我們長 久,我們必定打敗你們。

因為我們知道,我們拼湊組合而成的遺產是我們的強處,而非弱點。我們是由基督徒和穆斯林,猶太教徒和印度教徒,以及非信徒組成的國家。我們由取自世界四面 八方的各種語文和文化所形塑。而且由於我們曾嘗過內戰和種族隔離的苦果,並且在走出那黑暗時期之後變得更堅強和團結,這讓我們不得不相信舊日的仇恨終究會 過去,部族之間的界線很快就會泯滅。隨著世界越來越小,我們共通的人性也會彰顯,而美國必須扮演引進新和平時代的角色。

對穆斯林世界,我們尋求一種新的前進方式,以共同的利益和尊重為基礎。那些想播植衝突並把自己社會的問題怪罪於西方的領袖,須知你的國民藉以判斷你的,是 你能建立什麼,而非你能毀壞什麼。那些靠著貪腐欺騙和箝制異己保住權勢的人,須知你門站在歷史錯誤的一邊,而只要你願意鬆手,我們就會幫忙。


在我們思索眼前道路的此際,我們以謙虛感激的心想到,有些勇敢的美國同胞正在遙遠的沙漠和山嶺上巡邏。今天他們有話要對我們說,就和躺在阿靈頓(公墓)的 英雄們世世代代輕聲訴說的一樣。我們尊榮他們,不只因為他們捍衛我們的自由,更因為他們代表著服務的精神;願意在比自己更大的事物上找尋意義。而在此刻, 能夠界定一個世代的此刻,必須常駐你我心中的,正是這種精神。

即使政府能做和必須做,這個國家最終仍得靠美國人民的信念與決心。在堤防決堤時,是人們的善心,讓他們招待陌生人。是工作人員的無私,讓他們寧可減工時, 也不願看到朋友失業,陪伴我們度過最黑暗時期。是消防員的勇氣,讓他們衝進滿是濃煙的樓梯間。是父母心甘情願培育孩子,最終決定我們的命運。

我們的挑戰也許是新的,我們迎接挑戰的工具也許是新的,但我們賴以成功的價值觀─辛勤工作和誠實、勇氣和公平競爭、容忍和好奇心、忠實和愛國心─這些都是 固有的。這些價值是真實的,是我們歷史上進步的沈默力量。我們有必要找回這些真實價值。我們現在需要一個勇於負責的新時代,每一個美國人都體認到我們對自 己、對國家、對世界負有責任,我們不是不情願地接受這些責任,而是欣然接受,堅信沒有什麼比全力以赴完成艱難的工作,更能得到精神上的滿足,更能找到自 我。






美國,面對我們共同的危險,在這個艱困的冬天,讓我們記得這些永恆的話語。懷著希望和美德,讓我們再度衝破結冰的逆流,度過接下來可能來臨的暴風雪。讓我 們孩子的孩子繼續流傳下去,說我們受到考驗時,我們拒絕讓旅程結束,我們不回頭,也不躊躇;眼睛注視著遠方,上帝的恩典降臨我們,我們帶著自由這個偉大的 禮物,安全送達未來的世世代代。

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