By Associated Press 1:44pm, January 21, 2013 - Updated 1:47pm, January 21, 2013
President Obama is sworn by Chief Justice John Roberts. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Barack Obama has begun his second term by declaring that the nation's "possibilities are limitless."
Speaking before a flag-waving crowd of hundreds of thousands on the National Mall, Obama said, "We are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together."
In his second inaugural address, Obama didn't dwell on any first-term accomplishments, but instead looked to hard work ahead in a country still grappling with a sluggish economy. And he urged Washington to find common ground over his next four years.
Obama earlier placed his hand on two Bibles -- one that was used by Martin Luther King and the other used by Abraham Lincoln -- and recited the oath of office. Vice President Joe Biden was also sworn in for his second term.
Obama says decade of war ending
President Obama says that a decade of war is now ending and an economic recovery has begun.
America's possibilities are limitless, the president said in his inaugural address. He said we will seize this moment if we seize it together.
Obama said that America can't succeed when only a few at the top do well and a growing many can barely make it. The country's prosperity must rest on a rising middle class, he said.
Obama: We must reduce health costs, deficit
President Obama says the nation must make the "hard choices" to reduce the cost of health care and the size of the deficit.
But the president said every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity, and he held up Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as commitments that strengthen America.
Obama said he rejected the belief that the country must choose between caring for the generation that built the country - or investing in the generation that will build the future.
Struggles with Republicans over reducing the deficit and paring back costly entitlement programs loom for Obama in his second term.
Obama speaks of need to protect children from violence
President Obama is pointing to the recent deadly shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, as he says the nation's children must be protected from harm.
Obama said, "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."
Obama's second term promises a battle with Congress over the sweeping gun control measures the president outlined last week in response to the elementary school massacre in Connecticut.
Evers-Williams delivers inaugural prayer
Myrlie Evers-Williams is calling on Americans to work together to build on the nation's progress in her invocation for President Barack Obama's inaugural ceremony.
The widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers' message of inclusion for the inaugural ceremonies comes 50 years after her husband was gunned down in the driveway of his Mississippi home.
The inauguration falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Evers-Williams is a distinguished scholar at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss. She was chairwoman of the NAACP from 1995 to 1998.
Clinton, Carter join Obama inaugural gathering
Former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter joined lawmakers and other dignitaries at the Capitol for President Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in Monday to a second term.
The two men are the only living Democrats who have occupied the White House. Clinton was accompanied by his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is departing as Obama's second term gets under way.
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter accompanied her husband for the ceremonies at the Capitol's West front.
Neither former President George W. Bush nor his father, former President George H.W. Bush, were expected to attend. Both are Republicans.
The elder Bush was recently released from the hospital, where he was treated for bronchitis and other issues.
Shinseki absent from inaugural ceremonies
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki was absent from ceremonial inaugural ceremonies.
Shinseki was away from the Capitol for security reasons. He would have been the successor to head the government in any catastrophic event.
The absence of a Cabinet secretary maintained a long-standing tradition that one member of the president's top team not attend the inaugural ceremonies.
Stars rub shoulders with politicos at inauguration
It's not exactly the Red Carpet ceremony, but President Barack Obama's second-term inauguration has an unmistakable Hollywood look.
There was a loud cheer for Beyonce and Jay-Z as they took their places at the Capitol Monday to watch Obama take the public oath of office for his second term. The two stopped to chat with Rev. Al Sharpton.
Actress Eva Longoria was seated on the platform outside the Capitol. Also seated in the crowd were singer Katy Perry, wearing an orange coat, and John Mayer.
Musicians Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor were present, as well, to perform at the inaugural ceremony.
And former Boston Celtics great Bill Russell was in the crowd, too.
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