President elect Barack Obama took a historical view of the American inaugural celebration tradition which first took place 220 years with the first U.S. President, during his last radio address on Saturday ahead of his swearing in as the nation's chief executive on Tuesday.
Our democracy has undergone many changes, and our people have taken many steps in pursuit of a more perfect union. What has always endured is this peaceful and orderly transition of power, he said.
He said it's something that people can take for granted, noting that today billions of people can't imagine leaders giving up power without strife or bloodhet.
He contrasted U.S. Presidential transitions during the Cold War with the suffocating grip of Soviet Communism.
And today, the resilience of our democracy stands in opposition to the extremists who would tear it down, he said.
He said President George Bush and his administration had extended the hand of cooperation to his team so he could take office on January 20 ready to work.
He noted that the events in the following days, culminating in Tuesday's inauguration were not just about the President but a celebration of the American people.
He warned also that even more difficult days lie ahead mentioning the ongoing wars the U.S. is involved in and economic crisis.
But as we approach this time-honored American tradition, we are reminded that our challenges can be met if we summon the spirit that has sustained our democracy since George Washington took the first oath of office, he said.
At the inauguration, he said the nation could reaffirm its veneration and love for the country and its democracy.
We can once again provide an example to the world, and move forward with a renewed sense of purpose and progress at home.