Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

拜登副总统,最高法院首席大法官先生, 美国国会议员们,尊敬的客人们,同胞们:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.  We affirm the promise of our democracy.  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:

当我们每次聚集在一起为总统举行就职典礼时,我们都是在见证美国宪法的不朽力量。我们是在又一次立下美国民主的承诺。 我们再次提醒说,把这个国家凝聚在一起的不是我们的肤色,不是信仰的教条,也不是我们的姓氏源于何处。使我们与众不同——使我们成为美国人——的,是我们对一个在两个多世纪以前发表的宣言中所表述的理念:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“我们认为这些真理是不言而喻的:人人生而平等,他们都从他们的造物主那里被赋予了某些不可剥夺的权利,包括生命权、自由权和追求幸福的权利。”

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time.  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.  The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob.  They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

今天,我们仍在继续这个永恒的旅程,让那些字句体现在我们这个时代的现实中。因为历史告诉我们,虽然这些真理是不言而喻的,但它们却不会自动实现;虽然自由是上帝给我们的礼物,但自由只能靠他在世间的子民的奋斗才能获得。1776年爱国先驱们所进行的斗争并不是以少数人的特权或乌合之众的统治来替代专制君主。他们为我们缔造的是一个共和国,一个民有、民治、民享的政府,并将捍卫这个建国理念的任务交给一代又一代的后人。

For more than two hundred years, we have.

两百多年的历史证明,我们做到了。

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.  We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

从皮鞭下和刺刀尖流出的鲜血中,我们发现,建立在自由和平等原则之上的合众国不能一半是蓄奴的,一半是自由的。我们浴火重生,我们发誓共同努力向前。

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

我们共同决定,现代经济需要铁路和公路,以加快旅行和商业,也需要中小学和大学来培训我们的工人。

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

我们一起发现,只有确保竞争和公平的法规健全,自由市场才能欣欣向荣。

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

我们一同决定,一个伟大国家必须关照弱者,并保护我们的人民免受生活中最严重的危险和不幸。

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone.  Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

在做这一切的时候,我们从来没有放弃对政府集中权力的怀疑,我们也没有屈就于那种相信只靠政府就可以解决所有社会弊病的幻想。我们一直保持着自己的秉性,推崇创造力和企业家精神,坚持辛勤工作和个人责任。

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.  For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.  No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.  Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.

但是我们也很明白,随着时代的变化,我们也必须变化;我们出于对基本原则的忠诚,需要对新的挑战做出新的回应;我们为保护个人自由就最终需要集体作出努力。美国人民如果再单打独斗去应付当今世界的挑战,等于让美国军队以长枪和民兵组织去面对法西斯主义或共产主义的武装。没有任何一个个人有能力训练出我们后代的教育需要的所有数学和科学教师,或者建造出能把新的工作和商业机会带给我们的道路、网络、实验室。现在比以往任何时候都需要我们共同努力,作为一个国家人民的整体,来做这些事情。

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience.  A decade of war is now ending.  An economic recovery has begun.  America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands:  youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention.   My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.

我们这一代美国人经历过危机的考验,这些危机坚定了我们的决心,也证明了我们的耐力。长达10年的战争即将结束,经济复苏已经开始,美国的潜力是无限的,因为我们拥有这个全球化的世界需要的所有特质:我们年轻有动力,多元而开放,我们有应对危机的无限能力和创新发展的天赋。美国同胞们,我们为这个时刻而生,只要我们共同努力,我们就能牢牢抓住这个机会。

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.  We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.  We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.  We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

我们美国人知道,我们的国家不可能在只有越来越少的人富有、越来越多的人捉襟见肘的情况下取得成功,我们相信美国的繁荣有赖于更多的人成为中产阶级,我们知道美国的振兴取决于每个人都能在工作中找到独立与自信,也取决于人们诚实的劳动让家庭脱离贫困。当一个出身贫困的年轻女孩知道,她与任何人都享有同样的成功机会,身为美国人,她不仅仅是在上帝眼中,而且在每一个人的眼中,她都享有自由与平等,这样我们才算是遵守了立国的原则。

We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time.  We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures:  a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American.  That is what this moment requires.  That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

我们明白,目前那些陈旧的政府计划跟不上时代。我们必须驾驭新的思想和技术以重塑政府,更新税法,改革学校,并让公民能够掌握新技能,以便更加努力工作,学习更多的知识,以达到更高的目标。我们的方法虽然会改变,但目的始终如一:建设一个奖励每个人的努力和决心的国家。这是当下所需要的。这是我们信念的真正意义所在。

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.  For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.  We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.  We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.  They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

我们,美国人,仍然相信,每位公民都应该得到基本的安全和尊严。我们必须作出降低我们的医保费用和赤字规模的艰难抉择。但是,我们拒绝接受这种看法,亦即美国必须在照顾建设了国家的那代人和投资于开创国家未来的那代人之间作出选择。我们记得过去的教训:老人的暮年在贫困中度过,残疾孩子的父母走投无路。我们不相信,在这个国家里自由只属于幸运者,幸福只属于少数人。我们知道,无论我们平日如何负责,我们当中任何人,在任何时候,都有可能面临失业、突然生病或者房子被风暴卷走的情况。我们通过联邦医疗保险、医疗补助计划以及社会安全保障为彼此作出的承诺,不仅不会挫伤我们的积极性,反而使我们更加强壮。它们不会使我们成为一群不劳而获的人,反而使我们敢于去冒险,这才使国家强大。

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.  We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.  Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.  The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.  But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.  We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks.  That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.  That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

我们,美国人,依然相信我们作为美国人的承诺不仅是对自己的,也是对所有子孙后代的。我们会对气候变化的威胁做出回应,因为我们了解如果不这样做,将会违背对子孙后代的承诺。有些人可能依然不承认科学的判断,但所有人都无法不去正视疯狂的野火、残酷的干旱、更大风暴的袭击。通往可持续发展能源的道路会是漫长的,而且有时会很艰难。但美国不能抗拒这个转变,而是必须领导这个转变。我们不能将可以增加就业、诞生新型产业的这些技术拱手让给其它国家,我们必须拥有这些技术。这是维护我们经济的活力与国家财富的途径,这些财富包括我们的森林、江河、农田、雪山。这是保护我们的地球的途径,那是上帝交给我们去守护的。这也是我们为先驱们宣示的信念增加新的含义的途径。

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.  Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage.  Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty.  The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm.  But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

我们,美国人,依然相信不必通过无休止的战争就能获得永久的安全与和平。我们的军人久经战火考验,技能和勇气都举世无双。我们的人民永远铭记先烈们的牺牲,珍惜自由的来之不易。不忘先烈们的牺牲将让我们永远对敌人保持警惕。但是我们同样牢记那些不仅能够赢得战争、还能赢得和平、化顽敌为挚友的人们。这些经验教训,我们今天必须发扬光大。

We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law.  We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.  America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.  We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.  And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.

我们将通过加强武装力量和法制来保卫我们的人民和价值体系。我们将通过试图与其它国家和平地解决争端来显示我们的勇气——这不是出于对我们面临的危险的无知,而是相信协商能够更长久地解除怀疑与恐惧。美国将继续在世界每个角落都保持积极的联盟,我们也将继续维护那些令我们能够在国外应付危机的机制,因为没有哪个国家会比世界上最强大的国家更需要一个和平的世界。我们将支持从亚洲到非洲、从拉美到中东的民主发展,因为利益和良知促使我们去支持那些希望自由的人们。我们也必须是贫困、疾病、歧视、偏见的受害者们的后援——这不仅仅是出于慈善为怀,也因为我们时代的和平需要不断地推动我们共同信念所基于的原则,包括宽容、机遇、人类尊严与公正。

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

我们,美国人,今天宣布,最不言自明的真理——人人生而平等——仍然是指引我们的北斗星,就像当年这条真理在色内加瀑布[1]、塞尔玛[2]、石墙[3]这些地方指引着人们,它指引着在这个宏大的草坪上留下了足迹的所有知名和不知名的人们。他们来到这里聆听宣讲,说我们不能独自行进;他们来聆听一位王者[4]说,我们的个人自由与地球上每个人的自由是紧密地联系在一起的。

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began.  For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.  Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.  Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.  Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.  Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

如今到了我们这一代人去接过先驱们开创的使命的时候了。在我们的妻子、母亲、女儿,在得到与她们的付出相符的待遇之前,我们的使命还没有完成;在我们同性恋的兄弟和姐妹像其他人一样在法律上被视真正平等之前,我们的使命还没有完成- 因为如果我们之间真正平等,那么可以肯定,我们所承诺的彼此相爱也必须是平等的。在所有公民行使投票权不必被迫等待几个小时之前,我们的使命还没有完成。在我们找到一个更好的方式来欢迎那些仍然可以把美国看作一个充满机遇的土地,乐于奋斗,充满希望的移民之前,在那些聪明的年轻学生和工程师被纳入到我们的劳动大军之中而不是被驱逐出境之前,我们的使命还没有完成。在从底特律的街头到阿巴拉契亚山间到纽顿安静的小巷中,我们所有的孩子们都知道他们在被关心和爱护,安全有保障之前,我们的使命还没有完成。

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American.  Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness.  Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

这是我们这一代人的使命 – 让生命、自由、追求幸福这些字眼、这些权利、这些价值 – 真正成为每一个美国人的现实。忠实我们国家的创始文件,并不需要我们生活的每一个范畴都看法一致,也并不意味着我们以完全相同的方式定义自由,或者遵循同样的路径追求幸福。进步并不强迫我们放弃几个世纪以来关于所有政府作用的辩论 – 但需要我们在我们的时代采取行动。

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay.  We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.  We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.  We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

我们现在就要做出抉择,我们不能承受拖延的后果。我们不能误以为毫无妥协余地是在坚持原则,或者以做秀取代政治,或者以相互指责取代理性的辩论。我们必须行动,尽管知道我们的工作不会十全十美。我们必须行动,尽管知道今天的胜利只是部分的成功,它将更多地取决于今后四年、四十年乃至四百年后站在这里的人们,继续发扬从费城独立厅传到我们手中的超越时代的精神。

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service.  But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream.  My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

我的美国同胞们,我今天在你们面前宣誓,就和过去在这座国会山上宣誓过的人一样,是对上帝和国家而不是对一个政党或者派别的誓词。我们必须在任职期间忠实履行我们的誓言。我的誓词,和每次军人接受任务、移民实现梦想时的誓词,并无太大不同;和我们面对在空中飘扬,让我们心中充满自豪的国旗所做的宣誓,也无太大差异。

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

这些是美国公民的心声,代表了我们最大的希望。

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

你们和我,作为美国公民,有确定国家未来前程的权力。你们和我,作为美国公民,有塑造我们时代话语的责任,不仅通过我们投下的选票,也通过为了维护我们最永久的价值观及理想而发出的大声疾呼。

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.让我们每个人用庄严的责任和无与伦比的欢悦,来拥抱我们与生俱来的永恒权利。凭借共同的努力,凭借热情和执着,让我们响应历史的召唤,承载一个珍爱自由之光的未知未来。

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.

感谢你们,上帝保佑你们,愿上帝永远佑护美利坚合众国。

[1] 1848年,美国争取妇女投票权的人士在纽约州的色内加瀑布地区召开大会。这次大会被认为是现代女权运动的开创性事件。

[2] 1965年3月,在美国民权运动的高潮中,非洲裔美国人组织了从阿拉巴马的塞尔玛出发的大游行。游行者与警察发生对峙。

[3] 1969年6月,纽约市警察检查在一个名叫“石墙”的小酒吧,与里面的同性恋者发生暴力冲突,被同性恋权利运动认为是一个标志性的事件。

[4] 这里使用的是双关语。“King”在英文中为“王”之意,但也是马丁·路德·金的姓。

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