Jan 20, 2021 9:12 PM EDT

Biden speaks at Lincoln Memorial: ‘I have never been more optimistic about America’

President Joe Biden addressed the country on Jan. 20 from the Lincoln Memorial after the sun had set on his Inauguration Day festivities. “America’s story depends on not any one of us, but on all of us,” Biden said. “That’s the task before us.”

Biden, nodding to the towering marble likeness of the former president next to him, said America was at a turning point similar to those the country faced during the Civil War and the civil rights movement.

“Are we up to it? Will we meet the moment like our forebears have? I believe we must and I believe we will,” Biden added.

He said unity requires Americans to connect around opportunity dignity and respect to fight hate, violence, disease and hopelessness.

“I have never been more optimistic about America,” he said.