作者：沪江英语 来源：网络 2015-08-18 16:00
MR. OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you so much. Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:
Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
For more than two hundred years, we have.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers。
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.
Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character.
But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.
我们也理解，时代在变化，我们同样需要变革。对建国精神的忠诚，需要我们肩负起新的责任，迎接新的挑战。保护我们的个人自由，最终需要所有人的共同努力。 因为美国人不能再独力迎接当今世界的挑战，正如美国士兵们不能再像先辈一样，用步枪和民兵同敌人(法西斯主义与共产主义)作战。一个人无法培训所有的数学 与科学老师，我们需要他们为了未来去教育孩子们。一个人无法建设道路、铺设网络、建立实验室来为国内带来新的工作岗位和商业机会。现在，与以往任何时候相比，我们都更需要团结合作。作为一个国家，一个民族团结起来。
This generation of Americans has been tested by crisis that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.
For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.
We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
我们，人民，仍然认为，每个公民都应当获得基本的安全和尊严。我们必须做出艰难抉择，降低医疗成本，缩减赤字规模。但我们拒绝在照顾建设国家的这一代和投 资即将建设国家的下一代间做出选择。因为我们记得过去的教训：老年人的夕阳时光在贫困中度过，家有残障儿童的父母无处求助。我们相信，在这个国家，自由不只是那些幸运儿的专属，或者说幸福只属于少数人。我们知道，不管我们怎样负责任地生活，我们任何人在任何时候都可能面临失业、突发疾病或住房被可怕的飓风摧毁的风险。 我们通过医疗保险、联邦医疗补助计划、社会保障项目向每个人做出承诺，这些不会让我们的创造力衰竭，而是会让我们更强大。这些不会让我们成为充满不劳而获者的国度，这些让我们敢于承担风险，让国家伟大。