Speaking at the inauguration of Joe Biden as the President of United States, Amy Klobuchar said "this is the day when our democracy picks itself up."
As one of the lead organizers of the inauguration, the Minnesota senator was given the opportunity to speak on the steps of the U.S. Capitol ahead of Biden's confirmation, just two weeks after the building was subjected to an attempted insurrection.
She was also the first person to introduce Biden as the 46th President of the United States.
With President Donald Trump, impeached by the U.S. House for incitement to insurrection, leaving the White House as his term ended Wednesday morning, Klobuchar spoke of the strength of American democracy in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack.
"When an angry, violent mob staged an insurrection and desecrated this temple of our democracy, it awakens us to our responsibilities as Americans," she said.
"This is the day when our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust and does what America always does — goes forward."
"It falls to all of us, not just the two leaders we are inaugurating today, to take up the torch of our democracy, not as a weapon of political arson, but as an instrument for good," she added.
"We pledge today never to take our democracy for granted as we celebrate its enormous strength."
While Trump wasn't in attendance – he flew to Mar-A-Lago on Air Force One Wednesday morning – former presidents including George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton are among those at the Capitol, as is Vice President Mike Pence.
On Wednesday morning, Biden and his Vice-President Kamala Harris were joined by a bipartisan delegation at a church service, which included Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
Fittingly for Klobuchar's Minnesota credentials, some snow flurries started in Washington, D.C., prompting a quip from Sen. Roy Blunt, who organized the ceremony with Klobuchar.
"I should’ve known when Sen. Klobuchar got involved there’d be a touch of snow this morning."
Here is the full text of Klobuchar's speech
Vice President Pence, Mr. President-Elect, Madam Vice-President-Elect, members of Congress and the judicial branch, former Presidents and First Ladies, Vice Presidents, leaders from abroad, and a whole bunch of Bidens. America, welcome to the 59th Presidential Inauguration, where in a few moments Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take their solemn oaths.
This ceremony is the culmination of 244 years of a democracy. It is the moment when leaders brought to this stage by the will of the people promise to be faithful to our Constitution, to cherish it and defend it. It is the moment when they become, as we all should be, the guardians of our country.
Have we become too jaded, too accustomed to the ritual of the passing of the torch of democracy to truly appreciate what a blessing and a privilege it is to witness this moment?
I think not.
Two weeks ago, when an angry violent mob staged an insurrection, and desecrated this temple of our democracy, it awakened us to our responsibilities as Americans.
This is the day our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust, and does what America always does: goes forward as a nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
This conveyance of sacred trust between our leaders and our people takes place in front of this shining Capitol dome for a reason.
When Abraham Lincoln gave his first inaugural address in front of this Capitol, the dome was only partially constructed, braced by ropes of steel. He promised he would finish it. He was criticized for spending funds on it during the Civil War. To those critics he replied: “If people see the Capitol going on, it is a sign we intend the Union shall go on.”
And it did. And it will.
Generations of Americans gave their lives to preserve our republic and this place.
Great legislation to protect civil rights and economic security and lead the world was debated and crafted under this dome.
Now it falls to all of us, not just the two leaders we are inaugurating today, to take up the torch of our democracy, not as a weapon of political arson, but as an instrument for good.
We pledge today never to take our democracy for granted as we celebrate its remarkable strength.
We celebrate its resilience.
We celebrate the ordinary people in our nation who do extraordinary things every day: the nurses on the front lines of the pandemic, the officer in the Capitol, a new generation never giving up on hope for justice.
We celebrate a new president, Joe Biden, who vows to restore the soul of America and cross the river of our divides to bring us to a higher plain.
And we celebrate our first African American, first Asian American and first woman Vice President, Kamala Harris, who stands on the shoulders of so many on this platform and throughout this country who have forged the way to this day.
When she takes the oath of office little girls and boys across the world will know that anything and everything is possible.
And in the end, that is America, our democracy, a country of so much good. And today, on these capitol steps and before this field of flags, we rededicate ourselves to its cause.