At approximately 11:35 a.m., Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander will take the podium before hundreds of thousands gathered on the mall in Washington, D.C.
During his brief speech, Alexander will begin by quoting Alex Haley, author of “Roots.”
“The late Alex Haley, the author of ‘Roots,’ lived his life by these six words: Find the good and praise it,” a text of Alexander’s prepared remarks reads. “Today, we praise the American tradition of transferring or reaffirming immense power as we inaugurate the president of the United States.”
The senator, who is the ranking Republican on the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, is one of two lawmakers who will have the opportunity to address those watching the inauguration all around the world before President Barack Obama is sworn in. Alexander will also introduce U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
To read more about Alexander’s role in the inauguration, click here.
And below is the full text of Alexander’s remarks, as provided by his office:
“The late Alex Haley, the author of ‘Roots,’ lived his life by these six words: Find the good and praise it.
Today, we praise the American tradition of transferring or reaffirming immense power as we inaugurate the president of the United States.
We do this in a peaceful, orderly way.
There is no mob, no coup, no insurrection.
This is a moment when millions stop and watch.
A moment most of us always will remember.
A moment that is the most conspicuous and enduring symbol of our democracy.
How remarkable that this has survived for so long in such a complex country with so much power at stake-this freedom to vote for our leaders and the restraint to respect the results.
Last year, a tour guide at Mt. Vernon told me that our first president, George Washington, posed this question: ‘What is most important of this grand experiment, the United States?’
And then Washington gave this answer: ‘Not the election of the first president, but the election of its second president. The peaceful transition of power is what will separate this country from every other country in the world.’
Today we celebrate, because this is the 57th inauguration of the American president.
Find the good and praise it.
Now, it is my honor to introduce Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Sonia Sotomayor, who will administer the oath of office to the vice president.
Everyone please stand.”