NGAUS Washington Report
(Jan. 22, 2013) President Barack Obama took the ceremonial oath of office for his second term as the 44th U.S. president and commander in chief on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, honoring the men and women in uniform who have preserved America’s freedoms throughout its history.
More than 5,000 military members, some participating in the Inaugural Parade, others playing musical accompaniment, firing artillery rounds into the sky or providing behind-the-scenes support, were among nearly 1 million people who gathered on the National Mall to watch Obama and Vice President Joe Biden enter their second term.
Recognizing the drawdown of forces in Afghanistan and the ramping down of more than a decade of conflict, Obama offered high praise during his inaugural address for U.S. service members, their contributions and sacrifices.
“Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage,” he said. “Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm.”
Obama expressed hope for a more peaceful future, noting that Americans understand that “enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”
Americans are “heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends,” the president said. “And we must carry those lessons into this time as well.”
The president affirmed the nation’s resolve to defend its people and uphold its values through both the “strength of arms and rule of law” and with an arm extended to its friends as well as adversaries to help lay conditions for long-term peace.