Barack Obama Sworn Into Office, Addresses Nation With Inaugural Speech

By Allen Starbury  |  01/20/2009

2009-01-20 - Barack Obama being sworn into officeBarack Obama stood before a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall on Tuesday (January 20) to deliver a speech of where America is as a nation, and his vision for the future during his inaugural address as the U.S. 44th president.

Obama called for a new era of responsibility and community, as he addressed the nation, while acknowledging the problems that are ahead.

"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," he said to begin his speech. "But know this, America -- they will be met."

The new president spoke of the United States' war against terror, or as he called it, "a far-reaching network of violence and hatred." Then later mentioned a "badly weakened" economy that he says is the result of "greed and irresponsibility" by some.

"The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act," he said.

Those who were added to our suffering economy and those driven by greed, however, will be held accountable, especially those handling taxpayer's dollars.

"Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government," Obama said.

Obama also spoke of the civil rights movement, crediting it for the historic moment today.

2009-01-20 - Barack Obama

"This is the meaning of [America's] liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath," he said.

The 44th president won a navy suit and red tie, and placed his hand on the same Bible used by President Abraham Lincoln's inauguration to be sworn in with.

With his first words as our new president, Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans that he'd responsibly pull us through trying times, and pull our forces from Iraq, while forging peace in Afghanistan and find a new way forward in relations with the Muslim world.

Following his inaugural address, Obama will big President Bush a formal farewell, then have lunch with congressional leaders, before heading back to the White House to join his family as they watch the inauguration parade, which begins at 3:45 p.m. ET.

Obama and his wife Michelle, the first lady, will then close out the evening by attending 10 official inaugural balls.

For those of you who made the trek to D.C. for the inaugural events, CNN's wants your input. They are asking people to share their Inauguration Day experiences and footage with them. To submit and upload your story and/or experiences, visit