[Congressional Record Volume 147, Number 7 (Monday, January 22, 2001)]
[Pages S421-S423]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

     Inauguration Ceremony, Saturday, January 20, 2001, 11:47 a.m.

       Members of the House of Representatives, Members of the 
     Senate, Justices of the Supreme Court, nominees to the 
     Cabinet, the Governors of the States, and the Mayor of the 
     District of Columbia, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other 
     distinguished guests assembled on the West Front.
       Mr. Martin Paone, Senate Secretary for the Majority, 
     escorted Senator Clinton and Mrs. Gore, accompanied by Mrs. 
     Clegg Dodd, Mrs. Gephardt, and Mrs. Daschle, to the 
     President's platform.
       Mrs. Elizabeth Letchworth, Senate Secretary for the 
     Minority, escorted Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Cheney, accompanied by 
     Mrs. McConnell (Elaine Chao), Mrs. Lott, Mrs. Hastert, and 
     Mrs. Armey, to the President's platform.
       Mr. Jay Eagen, House CAO, Mr. Gary Sisco, Secretary of the 
     Senate, and Mr. Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House, escorted 
     President Clinton and Vice President Gore, accompanied by 
     Senator Dodd, Representative Gephardt, and Senator Daschle, 
     to the President's platform.
       Ms. Lani Gerst, Executive Director, JCCIC, Mrs. Loretta 
     Symms, Senate Deputy Sergeant at Arms, and Ms. Kerri Hanley, 
     House Deputy Sergeant at Arms, escorted Vice President-elect 
     Cheney, accompanied by Senator Lott and Representative Armey, 
     to the President's platform.
       Ms. Tamara Somerville, Chief of Staff, JCCIC, Mr. Jim 
     Ziglar, Senate Sergeant at Arms, and Mr. Bill Livingood, 
     House Sergeant at Arms, escorted President-elect Bush, 
     accompanied by Senator McConnell, Senator Dodd, Speaker 
     Hastert, and Senator Lott, to the President's platform.
       Mr. McCONNELL. Everyone, please be seated so we can begin.
       Welcome to the 54th inauguration of the President and the 
     Vice President of the United States of America. Today we 
     honor the past in commemorating two centuries of 
     inaugurations in Washington, DC. As well, we embrace the 
     future, this day marking the first inauguration of the 21st 
     century and the new millennium.
       America has now spanned four centuries, her promise still 
     shining bright--beginning and present--linked by timeless 
     ideals and faith. The enduring strength of our Constitution, 
     which brings us to the West Front of the Capitol today, 
     attests to the wisdom of America's founders and the heroism 
     of generations of Americans who fought wars and toiled in 
     peace to preserve this legacy of liberty. In becoming the 
     43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush will 
     assume the sacred trust as guardian of our Constitution. Dick 
     Cheney will be sworn in as our new Vice President. Witnessed 
     by the Congress, Supreme Court, Governors, and Presidents 
     past, the current President will stand by as the new 
     President peacefully takes office. This is a triumph of our 
     democratic Republic, a ceremony befitting a great nation.
       In his father's stead, the Rev. Franklin Graham is with us 
     today to lead the Nation in prayer. Please stand for the 
       Reverend Graham.
       Reverend GRAHAM. Let us pray:
       Blessed are You, O Lord our God. Yours, O God, is the 
     greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the 
     splendor, for everything in heaven and Earth is Yours. Yours, 
     O Lord, is the kingdom. You are exalted as head over all. 
     Wealth and honor come from You. You are the ruler of all 
     things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and to 
     give strength to all.
       As President Lincoln once said, we have been the recipients 
     of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved 
     these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in 
     numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever 
     grown, but we have forgotten God. It behooves us then to 
     humble ourselves before the offended powers, to confess our 
     national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
       O Lord, as we come together on this historic and solemn 
     occasion to inaugurate once again a President and Vice 
     President, teach us afresh that power, wisdom, and salvation 
     come only from Your hand.
       We pray, O Lord, for President-elect George W. Bush and 
     Vice President-elect Richard B. Cheney to whom You have 
     entrusted leadership of this Nation at this moment in 
     history. We pray that You will help them bring our country 
     together so that we

[[Page S422]]

     may rise above partisan politics and seek the larger vision 
     of Your will for our Nation. Use them to bring reconciliation 
     between the races, healing to political wounds, that we may 
     truly become one nation under God.
       Give our new President, and all who advise him, calmness in 
     the face of storms, encouragement in the face of frustration, 
     and humility in the face of success. Give them the wisdom to 
     know and to do what is right and the courage to say no to all 
     that is contrary to Your statutes and holy law.
       Lord, we pray for their families, and especially their 
     wives, Laura Bush and Lynne Cheney, that they may sense Your 
     presence and know Your love.
       Today we entrust to You President and Senator Clinton and 
     Vice President and Mrs. Gore. Lead them as they 
     journey through new doors of opportunity to serve others.
       Now, O Lord, we dedicate this Presidential inaugural 
     ceremony to You. May this be the beginning of a new dawn for 
     America as we humble ourselves before You and acknowledge You 
     alone as our Lord, our Saviour, and our Redeemer.
       We pray this in the name of the Father and of the Son, the 
     Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
       Mr. McCONNELL. Thank you, Reverend Graham.
       It is my distinct pleasure to introduce the Dupont Manual 
     Choir of Louisville, KY.
       (Performance by the Dupont Manual Choir of Louisville, KY.)
       Mr. McCONNELL. I now call on Senator Christopher J. Dodd of 
     Connecticut to introduce the Chief Justice of the United 
       Mr. DODD. Thank you, Senator McConnell.
       President and Senator Clinton, Vice President and Mrs. 
     Gore, President-elect and Mrs. Bush, and fellow citizens, the 
     Vice President-elect will now take the oath of office. His 
     wife, Lynne, and their daughters, Elizabeth Cheney Perry and 
     Mary Cheney, will hold the family Bible. I have the honor and 
     privilege to now present the Chief Justice of the United 
     States Supreme Court, the Hon. William Hobbs Rehnquist, to 
     administer the oath of office to the Vice President-elect, 
     Richard Bruce Cheney.
       Mr. Chief Justice REHNQUIST. Mr. Cheney, are you ready to 
     take the oath? -
       Vice President-elect CHENEY. I am.
       Mr. Chief Justice REHNQUIST. Please raise your right hand 
     and repeat after me.
       The Chief Justice of the United States, William Hobbs 
     Rehnquist, administered to the Vice President-elect the oath 
     of office prescribed by the Constitution, which he repeated, 
     as follows:
       ``I, Richard Bruce Cheney, do solemnly swear that I will 
     support and defend the Constitution of the United States 
     against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear 
     true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this 
     obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose 
     of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the 
     duties of the office of which I am about to enter. So help me 
       Mr. Chief Justice REHNQUIST. Congratulations.
       (The Marine Band performed ``Hail Columbia.'')
       Mr. McCONNELL. Ladies and gentlemen, Staff Sergeant Alec T. 
     Maly of the United States Army Band will now perform an 
     American medley.
       (Staff Sergeant Alec T. Maly sang a medley of American 
       Mr. McCONNELL. It is now my high honor to again present the 
     Chief Justice of the United States who will administer the 
     Presidential oath of office. Everyone, please stand.
       Mr. Chief Justice REHNQUIST. Governor Bush, are you ready 
     to take the oath?
       President-elect BUSH. Yes, sir.
       Mr. Chief Justice REHNQUIST. Please raise your right hand 
     and repeat after me.
       The Chief Justice of the United States, William Hobbs 
     Rehnquist, administered to the President-elect the oath of 
     office prescribed by the Constitution, which he repeated, as 
       ``I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear that I will 
     faithfully execute the office of President of the United 
     States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, 
     protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So 
     help me God.''
       Mr. Chief Justice REHNQUIST. Congratulations.
       Mr. McCONNELL. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the 
     United States, George W. Bush.
       (Herald Trumpets play ``Ruffles and Flourishes'' and ``Hail 
     to the Chief,'' and 21-gun salute.)
       President BUSH. Thank you all.
       Chief Justice Rehnquist, President Carter, President Bush--
       (Laughter, applause.)
       President Clinton, distinguished guests, and my fellow 
       This peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet 
     common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old 
     traditions and make new beginnings.
       As I begin, I thank President Clinton for his service to 
     our Nation. -
       And I thank Vice President Gore for a contest conducted 
     with spirit and ended with grace.
       I am honored and humbled to stand here, where so many of 
     America's leaders have come before me and so many will 
       We have a place, all of us, in a long story; a story we 
     continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story of a 
     new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, 
     the story of a slave-holding society that became a servant 
     of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world 
     to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer. 
     It is the American story; a story of flawed and fallible 
     people, united across the generations by grand and 
     enduring ideals.
       The grandest of these ideals is an unfolding American 
     promise: that everyone belongs, that everyone deserves a 
     chance, that no insignificant person was ever born.
       Americans are called to enact this promise in our lives and 
     in our laws. And though our Nation has sometimes halted, and 
     sometimes delayed, we must follow no other course.
       Through much of the last century, America's faith in 
     freedom and democracy was a rock in a raging sea. Now it is a 
     seed upon the wind, taking root in many nations.
       Our democratic faith is more than the creed of our country, 
     it is the inborn hope of our humanity; an ideal we carry but 
     do not own, a trust we bear and pass along. And even after 
     nearly 225 years, we have a long way yet to travel.
       While many of our citizens prosper, others doubt the 
     promise--even the justice--of our own country. The ambitions 
     of some Americans are limited by failing schools, and hidden 
     prejudice, and the circumstances of their birth. And 
     sometimes our differences run so deep, it seems we share a 
     continent, but not a country.
       We do not accept this, and we will not allow it. Our unity, 
     our union, is the serious work of leaders and citizens in 
     every generation. And this is my solemn pledge: I will work 
     to build a single nation of justice and opportunity.
       I know this is within our reach, because we are guided by a 
     power larger than ourselves who creates us equal in His 
       And we are confident in principles that unite and lead us 
       America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We 
     are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift 
     us above our interests, and teach us what it means to be 
     citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every 
     citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing 
     these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American.
       Today we affirm a new commitment to live out our Nation's 
     promise through civility, courage, compassion, and character.
       America, at its best, matches a commitment to principle 
     with a concern for civility.
       A civil society demands from each of us good will and 
     respect, fair dealing and forgiveness.
       Some seem to believe that our politics can afford to be 
     petty because, in a time of peace, the stakes of our debates 
     appear small. But the stakes, for America, are never small. 
     If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will 
     not be led. If we do not turn the hearts of children toward 
     knowledge and character, we will lose their gifts and 
     undermine their idealism. If we permit our economy to drift 
     and decline, the vulnerable will suffer most.
       We must live up to the calling we share. Civility is not a 
     tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust 
     over cynicism, of community over chaos. And this commitment, 
     if we keep it, is a way to shared accomplishment.
       America, at its best, is also courageous.
       Our national courage has been clear in times of depression 
     and war, when defeating common dangers defined our common 
     good. Now we must choose if the example of our fathers and 
     mothers will inspire us or condemn us. We must show courage 
     in a time of blessing by confronting problems instead of 
     passing them onto future generations.
       Together we will reclaim America's schools, before 
     ignorance and apathy claim more young lives. We will reform 
     Social Security and Medicare, sparing our children from 
     struggles we have the power to prevent. And we will reduce 
     taxes, to recover the momentum of our economy and reward the 
     efforts and enterprise of working Americans.
       We will build our defenses beyond challenge, lest weakness 
     invite challenge.
       We will confront weapons of mass destruction, so that a new 
     century is spared new horrors.
       The enemies of liberty and our country should make no 
     mistake, America remains engaged in the world, by history and 
     by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom. We 
     will defend our allies and our interests. We will show 
     purpose without arrogance. We will meet aggression and bad 
     faith with resolve and strength. And to all nations, we will 
     speak for the values that gave our Nation birth.
       America, at its best, is compassionate.
       In the quiet of American conscience, we know that deep, 
     persistent poverty is unworthy of our Nation's promise. And 
     whatever our views of its cause, we can agree that children 
     at risk are not at fault. Abandonment and abuse are not acts 
     of God; they are failures of love.

[[Page S423]]

       And the proliferation of prisons, however necessary, is no 
     substitute for hope and order in our souls.
       Where there is suffering, there is duty. Americans in need 
     are not strangers, they are citizens; not problems, but 
     priorities. And all of us are diminished when any are 
       Government has great responsibilities, for public safety 
     and public health, for civil rights and common schools. Yet 
     compassion is the work of a nation, not just a government. 
     And some needs and hurts are so deep, they will only respond 
     to a mentor's touch or a pastor's prayer. Church and charity, 
     synagogue and mosque lend our communities their humanity, and 
     they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws.
       Many in our country do not know the pain of poverty. But we 
     can listen to those who do. And I can pledge our Nation to a 
     goal. When we see that wounded traveler on the road to 
     Jericho, we will not pass to the other side.
       America, at its best, is a place where personal 
     responsibility is valued and expected.
       Encouraging responsibility is not a search for scapegoats; 
     it is a call to conscience. And though it requires sacrifice, 
     it brings a deeper fulfillment. We find the fullness of life, 
     not only in options, but in commitments. And we find that 
     children and community are the commitments that set us free.
       Our public interest depends on private character; on civic 
     duty and family bonds and basic fairness; on uncounted, 
     unhonored acts of decency which give direction to our 
     freedom. Sometimes in life we are called to do great things. 
     But as a saint of our times has said, every day we are called 
     to do small things with great love. The most important tasks 
     of a democracy are done by everyone.
       I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my 
     convictions with civility; to pursue the public interest with 
     courage; to speak for greater justice and compassion; to call 
     for responsibility, and try to live it as well. In all these 
     ways, I will bring the values of our history to the care of 
     our times.
       What you do is as important as anything government does. I 
     ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort; to defend 
     needed reforms against easy attacks; to serve your Nation, 
     beginning with your neighbor. I ask you to be citizens--
     citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible 
     citizens building communities of service and a nation of 
       Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because 
     we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond 
     ourselves. When this spirit of citizenship is missing, no 
     government program can replace it. When this spirit is 
     present, no wrong can stand against it.
       After the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia 
     statesman John Page wrote to Thomas Jefferson:
       We know the race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the 
     Strong. Do you not think an Angel rides in the Whirlwind and 
     directs this Storm?
       Much time has passed since Jefferson arrived for his 
     inauguration. The years and changes accumulate, but the 
     themes of this day he would know: our Nation's grand story of 
     courage and its simple dream of dignity. We are not the 
     story's author, who fills time and eternity with His purpose. 
     Yet His purpose is achieved in our duty; and our duty is 
     fulfilled in service to one another.
       Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew 
     that purpose today: to make our country more just and 
     generous; to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life.
       This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel still 
     rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.
       God bless you all, and God bless America.
       Mr. McCONNELL. Please stand now as Pastor Kribyjon H. 
     Caldwell will now deliver the benediction, and afterward, 
     please remain standing for the singing of our National 
     Anthem, after which the ceremony will be concluded. I call 
     upon Senator Dodd to organize the Presidential party after 
     the ceremony has ended to depart the platform.
       Pastor Caldwell.
       Pastor CALDWELL. Thank you, Senator McConnell.
       Let us pray, please:
       Almighty God, the supply and supplier of peace, prudent 
     policy, and nonpartisanship, we bless Your holy and righteous 
     name. Thank You, O God, for blessing us with forgiveness, 
     with faith, and with favor. Forgive us for choosing pride 
     over purpose. Forgive us for choosing popularity over 
     principles. And forgive us for choosing materialism over 
     morals. Deliver us from these and all other evils, and cast 
     our sins into Your sea of forgetfulness to be remembered no 
     more. And Lord, not only do we thank You for our forgiveness, 
     we thank You for faith, faith to believe that every child can 
     learn and no child will be left behind and no youth will be 
     left out.
       Thank You for blessing us with the faith to believe that 
     all of Your leaders can sit down and reason with one another 
     so that each American is blessed.
       Thank You for blessing us with the faith to believe that 
     the walls of inequity can be torn down and the gaps between 
     the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots, the 
     uneducated and the educated, can and will be closed.
       And, Lord, lastly, we thank You for favor. We thank You for 
     Your divine favor. Let Your favor be upon President Clinton 
     and the outgoing administration. May they go forth in 
     spiritual grace and civic greatness. And, of course, O Lord, 
     let Your divine favor be upon President George W. Bush and 
     First Lady Laura Welch Bush and their family. We decree and 
     declare that no weapon formed against them shall prosper. Let 
     Your divine favor be upon the Bush team and all Americans 
     with the rising of the Sun and the going down of the same. 
     May we grow in our willingness and ability to bless You and 
     bless one another.
       We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that 
     is above all other names, Jesus the Christ. Let all who agree 
     say ``Amen.''
       (Staff Sergeant Maly performed the National Anthem with 
       The inaugural ceremonies were concluded at 12:24 p.m.