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Biden calls for end to 'uncivil war' in inaugural speech

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BIDEN: “We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”

Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday, vowing to end the ‘uncivil war’ in a deeply divided country reeling from a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.

BIDEN: "To overcome these challenges to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity... 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."

With his hand on a five-inch thick heirloom Bible that has been in his family for more than a century, Biden took the oath of office administered by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts.

Standing in front of a heavily fortified U.S. Capitol, where a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building two weeks ago, Biden delivered an inaugural speech promoting a message of hope and unity for the country.

BIDEN: "Here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work on our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground... It did not happen; it will never happen. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever."

Looking out across the National Mall, covered in a "field of flags" symbolizing those who could not attend, Biden takes office at a time of deep national unease, with the country facing what his advisers have described as four compounding crises: the pandemic, the economic downtown, climate change and racial inequality.

He has promised immediate action, and acknowledged his Vice President Kamala Harris - the first woman, Black American and first person of South Asian descent to hold the nation’s second highest office - Declaring it’s America’s day.

BIDEN: “Here we stand, looking out on the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream, Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we mark the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can’t change."

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: We've learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.

[CHEERING]

- Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday, vowing to end the uncivil war in a deeply divided country reeling from a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.

[APPLAUSE]

JOE BIDEN: To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity. 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.

- With his hand on a five-inch thick heirloom Bible that has been in his family for more than a century, Biden took the oath of office administered by US Chief Justice John Roberts. Standing in front of a heavily fortified US capital where a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building two weeks ago, Biden delivered an inaugural speech promoting a message of hope and unity for the country.

JOE BIDEN: And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.

[APPLAUSE]

- Looking out across the National Mall covered in a field of flags symbolizing those who could not attend, Biden takes office at a time of deep national unease with the country facing what his advisors have described as four compounding crises. The pandemic, the economic downturn, climate change, and racial inequality. He has promised immediate action and acknowledged his vice president, Kamala Harris, the first woman, Black American, and first person of South Asian descent to hold the nation's second highest office, declaring it's America's day.

JOE BIDEN: Here we stand, looking out on the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we mark the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris.

[CHEERING]

Don't tell me things can't change.

[APPLAUSE]