Biden delivers 1st speech as president

President Joe Biden delivered his inaugural address to the nation on Wednesday.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this, bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation, and I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the foes we face-- anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness.

With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice, and we can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world.

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, but I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we're all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization, have long torn us apart.

The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured. Through Civil War, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setbacks, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of these moments, enough of us, enough of us, have come together to carry all of us forward, and we can do that now.

History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity. We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos.

This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward, and we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we've acted together, and so today, at this time and this place, let's start afresh, all of us.

Let's begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. May God bless America, and may God protect our troops. Thank you America.

[APPLAUSE]