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In front of over million spectators, Obama confronts issues

WASHINGTON – Nearly three months after electing their first black president, millions of Americans stood shoulder to shoulder in Washington D.C. yesterday to watch as the 44th commander-in-chief was sworn into office.

Lining the roads and lawns from the National Mall to the Capitol Building, more than one million spectators were given the chance to listen to President Barack Obama on 17 jumbo screens set up sporadically across the area.

After being greeted by thunderous cheers and chants that echoed across the expansive stretch, Obama began his historic speech by thanking the American people for electing him in November.

‘My fellow citizens, I stand here today humbled by the task before us,’ Obama said. ‘On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.’

As expected, the economic crisis took precedent over all other issues, with Obama offering a number of different solutions to the captivated nation.

By promising to create new jobs, to build new roads and bridges and to harness green energy, Obama reassured spectators in the crowd who were heavily affected by economic turmoil in the last year.

‘I’m just glad he focused on the promises he made during his campaign, and didn’t forget the things he told us he would do,’ D.C. resident Roger Gorham, 44, said. ‘He was less about moving forward and looking on, and more about holding our leaders accountable than I thought he would be. And I hope he sticks with his own opinions.’

Gorham, who watched the inauguration on one of the mall jumbo screens, said Obama’s promise to extend peace to other countries is another example of his call for accountability among the leaders of the world.

Although the president mentioned his promise to withdraw responsibly from Iraq during his speech, he also offered peace to every nation who called for it.

‘To all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born,’ Obama said, ‘know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.’

However, in reference to the war on terror that outgoing president Bush so adamantly pursued, Obama said he is willing to stand with both old friends and former foes in order to keep peace and harmony balanced across the globe.

‘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,’ he said. ‘We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.’

For Lisa Caffee, 42, of Herdon, Virginia, Obama’s direct and charismatic approach to the issues addressed in the speech – especially when it came to world peace – is what made the delivery of the address more personal.

According to Caffee, having a politician who is willing to open themselves up to the public is what makes the American people able to trust them, which is exactly what’s happening with Obama.

‘His honest delivery is what comes across when he’s speaking to the public, and that sticks with you so it’s hard to forget him,’ Caffee said. ‘You know that he’ll be truthful with the American people, and that’s something we haven’t seen in many of his predecessors.’

And also unlike all former presidents, Obama’s African-American history and heritage touched sections of his speech as he reflected on the segregation and hatred that have been overcome in order for him and others to fulfill their dreams.

According to Obama, the only way to create unity in other nations is to strengthen the common humanity within the United States in order to usher in an era of peace.

‘We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass, that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve,’ he said. ‘We know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.’

By calling for the American people to step up and help him overcome the many problems he will face throughout the next four years, Obama was able to incorporate the masses in his restorative plans for the nation.

‘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,’ Obama said. ‘Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.’

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