President-elect Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial. [Photo: Doug Mills/NYT]
Obama Speaks | 4:20 p.m. President-elect Obama thanks the performers and the crowd and says, “Yours are the voices I will take with me every day I walk into that Oval Office.” As Mr. Obama spoke, people in the crowd climbed trees to try to catch a glimpse of him.
What gives me the greatest hope of all is not the stone and marble that surrounds us today, but what fills the spaces in between. It is you – Americans of every race and region and station who came here because you believe in what this country can be and because you want to help us get there. It is the same thing that gave me hope from the day we began this campaign for the presidency nearly two years ago; a belief that if we could just recognize ourselves in one another and bring everyone together – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents; Latino, Asian, and Native American; black and white, gay and straight, disabled and not – then not only would we restore hope and opportunity in places that yearned for both, but maybe, just maybe, we might perfect our union in the process.This is what I believed, but you made this belief real. You proved once more that people who love this country can change it.