Obama sets off on train ride to presidency

Sunday, January 18, 2009

PHILADELPHIA, Jan 17: President-elect Barack Obama, tracing the train route Abraham Lincoln took nearly a century and a half earlier, undertook the final leg of his inaugural journey to the US capital on Saturday, pledging to reclaim America’s spirit but also warning of steep challenges facing the country.“Starting now, let’s take up in our own lives the work of perfecting our union,” he told several hundred invited guests gathered inside a hall at Philadelphia’s historic 30th Street train station before his trip to Washington where he will be inaugurated on Tuesday as the first African-American US president.“Let’s build a government that is responsible to the people and accept our own responsibilities as citizens to hold our government accountable. ... Let’s make sure this election is not the end of what we do to change America, but the beginning and the hope for the future.”While talking about the future, Mr Obama reflected on the past, echoing the words of the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln and president John F. Kennedy. He cited the founding fathers who risked everything with no assurance of success in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776 when they declared independence from the British king.


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