When day comes we ask ourselves,where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast.We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace.
And the norms and notionsof what just is. Isn’t always just-ice.And yet the dawn is oursbefore we knew it.Somehow we do it.Somehow we’ve weathered and witnesseda nation that isn’t brokenbut simply unfinished.
We the successors of a country and a time.
Where a skinny Black girldescended from slaves and raised by a single mothercan dream of becoming presidentonly to find herself reciting for oneAnd yes we are far from polishedfar from pristinebut that doesn’t mean we arestriving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters andconditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between usbut what stands before us. We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our armsso we can reach out our armsto one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all. Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried. That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious. Not because we will never again know defeatbut because we will never again sow division. Scripture tells us to envisionthat everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree.
And no one shall make them afraidIf we’re to live up to our own time.
Then victory won’t lie in the bladeBut in all the bridges we’ve made. That is the promise to glade. The hill we climb. If only we dare.
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,it’s the past we step intoand how we repair it.We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nationrather than share it. Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayedit can never be permanently defeated. In this truthin this faith we trust. For while we have our eyes on the futurehistory has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemptionWe feared at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirsof such a terrifying hourbut within it we found the powerto author a new chapter. To offer hope and laughter to ourselvesSo while once we asked,how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assertHow could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?We will not march back to what wasbut move to what shall be. A country that is bruised but whole,benevolent but bold,fierce and free.
We will not be turned aroundor interrupted by intimidationbecause we know our inaction and inertiawill be the inheritance of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.But one thing is certain:If we merge mercy with might,and might with right,then love becomes our legacyand change our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind a countrybetter than the one we were left with.Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,we will rise from the windswept northeastwhere our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,we will rise from the sunbaked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recoverand every known nook of our nation andevery corner called our country,our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,battered and beautiful.
When day comes we step out of the shade,aflame and unafraid.The new dawn blooms as we free itFor there is always light,if only we’re brave enough to see it.If only we’re brave enough to be it.