“This moment embodies our character as a nation” – read remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris Celebration of America Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 6, 2021

Remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris Celebration of America
January 20, 2021 

Good evening. 

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It is my honor to be here.

To stand on the shoulders 
of those who came before. 

To speak tonight
as your Vice President.

In many ways, this moment
embodies our character as a nation.

It demonstrates who we are. 

Even in dark times—

We not only dream. We do. 

We not only see what has been, 
we see what can be. 

We shoot for the moon, 
and then we plant our flag on it. 

We are bold, fearless, and ambitious. 

We are undaunted 
in our belief 
that we shall overcome,
that we will rise up.

This is American Aspiration. 

In the middle of the Civil War, 
Abraham Lincoln saw a better future
and built it—
with land-grant colleges 
and the transcontinental railroad. 

In the middle of the civil rights movement,
Dr. King fought for
racial justice and economic justice.

American Aspiration is what drove
the women of this nation,
throughout history,
to demand equal rights.

And the authors of the Bill of Rights
to claim freedoms 
that had rarely been written down before.

A Great Experiment takes
great determination—
the will to do the work 
and then the wisdom to 
keep refining,
keep tinkering,
keep perfecting.

The same determination 
is being realized in America today. 

I see it in the scientists 
who are transforming the future.

I see it in the parents 
who are nurturing generations to come.

In the innovators and the educators.

In everyone, everywhere 
who is building a better life
for themselves, their families,
and their communities.

This, too, is American Aspiration. 

This is what President Joe Biden 
has called upon us to summon now.
The courage to see beyond crisis.
To do what is hard.
To do what is good. 
To unite.
To believe in ourselves.
Believe in our country. 
Believe in what we can do—together.

Thank you. And may God bless America.

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