Obama tells US to 'seize the moment' during second term inauguration speech

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 22, 2013 06:40 hrs

President Barack Obama has told the Americans to 'seize the moment', in a speech in Washington DC inaugurating his second term as US president.

The Democratic president issued a plea for political unity while embracing liberal causes such as immigration reform, gay rights and the fight against climate change.

Obama, 51, who is the 44th US president, was sworn in for his second term by Chief Justice John Roberts.

According to the BBC, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, along with dozens of senators, congressional leaders and other dignitaries, attended the event at the US Capitol.

In his inaugural address, Obama laid out his vision for the next four years and repeatedly declared that there 'journey is not complete'.

"This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience," he said.

"A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America's possibilities are limitless," he added.

In a roughly 18-minute, Obama called for 'collective action' to preserve American freedom, which he linked to social and economic equality.

In an era of congressional deadlock, Obama said that Americans must make hard choices to reduce the deficit and debt.

But he defended costly federal healthcare programmes which Republicans want to pare back.

Without making specific policy recommendations, Obama said that the US must overhaul the tax code, reform its education system, revamp the voting system and address climate change.

Obama also referred to his just-launched campaign to curb gun violence.

He also said that there was a need to 'find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity'.

As he was sworn in, Obama placed his left hand on bibles owned by legendary American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr and President Abraham Lincoln.

Vice-President Joe Biden publicly took the oath as well, the report added. (ANI)

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