MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota's Sen. Amy Klobuchar delivered remarks at the inauguration of President Joe Biden Wednesday morning, saying that "this is the day our democracy picks itself up."
Klobuchar gave the welcoming remarks as snowflakes fell in Washington, D.C. just before the swearing in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
In her speech, she said the attack on the U.S. Capitol "awakened us to our responsibilities as Americans"; she celebrated the ordinary people and the new president and vice president.
Here's the speech in full:
Vice President Pence, Mr. President-Elect, Madam Vice-President-Elect, members of Congress and the judicial branch, former Presidents and First Ladies, Vice Presidents, leaders from abroad, and a whole bunch of Bidens. America, welcome to the 59th Presidential Inauguration, where in just a few moments Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take their solemn oaths.
This ceremony is the culmination of 244 years of a democracy. It is the moment when leaders brought to this stage by the will of the people promise to be faithful to our Constitution, to cherish it and defend it. It is the moment when they become, as we all should be, guardians of our country.
Have we become too jaded, too accustomed to the ritual of the passing of the torch of democracy to truly appreciate what a blessing and a privilege it is to witness this moment?
I think not.
Two weeks ago, when an angry violent mob staged an insurrection, and desecrated this temple of our democracy, it awakened us to our responsibilities as Americans.
This is the day when our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust, and does what America always does: goes forward as a nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
This conveyance of a sacred trust between our leaders and our people takes place in front of this shining Capitol dome for a reason.
When Abraham Lincoln gave his first inaugural address in front of this Capitol, the dome was only partially constructed, braced by ropes of steel. He promised he would finish it. He was criticized for spending funds on it during the Civil War. To those critics he replied: "If the people see the Capitol going on, it is a sign we intend the Union shall go on."
And it did. And it will.
Generations of Americans gave their lives to preserve our republic and this place.
Great legislation to protect civil rights and economic security and lead the world was debated and crafted under this dome.
Now it falls on all of us, not just the two leaders we are inaugurating today, to take up the torch of our democracy, not as a weapon of political arson, but as an instrument for good.
We pledge today never to take our democracy for granted as we celebrate its remarkable strength.
We celebrate its resilience.
We celebrate the ordinary people doing extraordinary things for our nation: the doctors and nurses on the front line of this pandemic, the officers in the Capitol, a new generation never giving up hope for justice.
We celebrate a new president, Joe Biden, who vows to restore the soul of America and cross the river of our divides to a higher plain.
And we celebrate our first African American, first Asian American and first woman Vice President, Kamala Harris, who stands on the shoulders of so many on this platform who have forged the way to this day.
When she takes the oath of office little girls and boys across the world will know that anything and everything is possible.
And in the end, that is America, our democracy, a country of so much good. And today, on these capitol steps and before this glorious field of flags, we rededicate ourselves to its cause.
It is now my honor to introduce to you the Senator who has worked with me and so many others to make this ceremony possible, my friend and the Chair of the inaugural committee, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt.
Klobuchar serves on the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) and was part of the planning and coordination of the inauguration of Biden and Harris.
Klobuchar also introduced the newly sworn in Biden for his inaugural address.
Klobuchar endorsed Biden after dropping out of the presidential race in March 2020.
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