'Battle is perennial': 10 memorable quotes from Joe Biden's speech
Joe Biden on Wednesday took oath as the 46th president of the United States, followed by a powerful inaugural address in which he emphasised the importance of democracy and unity. Biden’s call for unity bears significance in the aftermath of Capitol riots when his predecessor, Donald Trump, egged on his supporters to storm the Capitol building, leading to five deaths. In an apparent reference to the tumultuous period of transition, Biden said the country has learnt that democracy is “precious” and “fragile.”
Here are 10 memorable quotes from Biden’s speech:
1. "This is America’s day, this is democracy’s day, the day of history and hope. Today we celebrate a triumph, not of a candidate, but of a cause. We have learned again that democracy is precious democracy is fragile. At this hour my friends, Democracy has prevailed."
2. "I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. I also know they are not new.”
3. “Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonisation have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured.”
4. “Through civil war to the Great Depression, World War, 9/11...our better angels have always prevailed. And each of these moments...enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward...we can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbours...we can treat each other with dignity and respect”
5. “For without unity, there's no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only state of chaos...this is our historic moment of crisis and challenge...unity is the path forward.”
6. “And today, we marked the swearing-in of the first woman in the American history elected to national office - vice president Kamala Harris. Don't tell me things can't change.”
7. “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."
8. "To all of those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That's democracy. That's America. The right to dissent peaceably...is perhaps this nation's greatest strength."
9. "Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and profit. Each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans, especially as leaders ... to defend the truth and defeat the lies."
10. "Here's the thing about life. There's no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days when you need a hand. There are other days when we are called to lend a hand. That's how it has to be. That’s what we do for one another."