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21 Jan, 2009 03:23

Obama officially begins ‘remaking America’

Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been sworn in as new president and vice president of the United States.

Biden took his oath of office from Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. At that moment he became second-in-command to both Barack Obama and to the US people.

His swearing-in came shortly before Obama took his own oath on the West Front of the Capitol.

“I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of President to the United States faithfully and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States – so help me God!” Barack Obama swore.

After the ceremonial occasion the new President addressed the nation. 

“Starting today we must begin the work of remaking America,” Obama stated at the Capitol before adding that the challenges America faces now are real, “but they will be met”, he said.

The atmosphere build-up began long before the event when up to two million descended on DC from all over the US. Restaurants and bars were packed with travellers desperate to be part of a defining moment in modern history.

Early on Tuesday morning, crowds rushed to grab the best spots in front of the Capitol to view the inauguration.

The swearing–in drew record crowds, far more than the million who turned up to John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.

Following a special lunch on Capitol Hill, President Obama set off for the traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Some 13,000 people from across the United States have travelled the 2.4-kilometre route following their new President.

Among the marching bands and military units have been acrobats and even a drill team with decorated lawn-mowers.