Three hours ago, the cannon boomed across the front of the United States Capitol to mark the moment at which our Forty-second President, William Jefferson Clinton, took the oath of office as President of the United States of America.
With his call for all Americans to rediscover the unity that undergirds our diversity, President Clinton has reminded us that each new generation renews the meaning of our nation; that each new generation makes a new beginning on the challenges of its time.
Our world is, as President Clinton said, both more free and less stable than the world that endured the shadow of the Cold War. It is a world of difficult challenges as well as opportunities. How well we meet our responsibilities to posterity will depend on the extent to which we can turn those challenges into opportunities for renewal and growth.
President Clinton told us that if we can make change our ally, we will continue the great American tradition of arising strengthened from each crisis we face. Renewal and change is the fertile soil in which the American genius grows best, and a season of new growth lies ahead.
The Senate stands ready to work with President Clinton and to work for all Americans to make the promise and hope of this new beginning bear fruit. We know that if President Clinton succeeds, every American family will succeed.
The challenges facing our nation at home are great. President Clinton reminded us that as we seek to broaden the great opportunities that America has always provided, we must seek, as well, to each assume the responsibilities that are properly ours.
He issued a call to service to Americans of all ages; service to themselves but also to their communities and their nation. He asked the Congress to work with him to make real the promise of a new beginning as we stand on the threshold of the 21st century.
He will have our unstinting support and help, and we look forward to his fresh new leadership.
The nation faces difficult challenges to renew our economy, to restore job growth, to keep our industries and businesses competitive in a global marketplace. But there is no challenge that Americans cannot meet and overcome with leadership that has confidence in their strength and their will.
President Clinton made clear his faith that Americans can rise to challenges as well as accept victories. He called on their strength and their will as he begins his term of office. He will, in turn, give Americans the leadership and inspiration that can call forth the best in every one of us.