|U. S. President
The War on Discord
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over President Barack Obama's Inauguration
Address made 20 January 2009.
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discordians or rev. loveshade. They aren't here.
Really. I guess.
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
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, 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 — honesty and hard work, 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
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
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.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.
that began "The War on
Discord" is as said on 20
January 2009, the day
Barack Hussein Obama II
was inaugurated as
president of these United
States and protector of