Washington, DC (CBS News) -- In the second and final inaugural address of his presidency, President Obama today urged Americans to continue fighting to fulfill the "promise" of American democracy, by pursuing Constitutional values while adapting to the realities of contemporary society.
"Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time," Mr. Obama said, after quoting the Declaration of Independence. "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."
Mr. Obama, speaking before a crowd of hundreds of thousands outside the U.S. Capitol, spoke of protecting the nation's "founding creed" while understanding, too, that "when times change, so must we."
"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," he said. "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."