Gov. Jack Markell and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn emphasized the need to look back at the accomplishments of America's heroes from the Founding Fathers to today's military heroes as inspiration to move forward to greatness in the state of Delaware during their inauguration exercises held Tuesday morning.
That included examining the Founding Fathers, the blood shed during the Civil War on through the Civil Rights, Markell said at the inauguration held at Central Middle School in Dover.
"Now it's our generation's turn," Markell said. "Let's continue to come together as the neighbors we are. Let's continue to put our common aspirations for our children first.
"When we do these things, not only will we keep faith with the solemn and sacred compact that has kept Delaware and America moving forward throughout our history; by our actions, we in the First State will show our country the way and give it reason to believe once again in its unique, historic and hopeful promise," he said.
Denn focused the beginning of his inaugural address on the squadron of 53 soldiers that were vastly outnumbered when they were attacked by the Taliban on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in 2009, Denn said. They lost eight of their men, but they held off the enemy and carried away their dead for a proper burial, he said.
"Being the greatest nation on earth is not an inheritance or a guarantee," Denn said. "It must be earned over and over by each generation. Here in Delaware, we do our part by recognizing that greatness comes when we help individuals fulfill their God-given potential."
Markell was sworn in by Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron T. Steele and Denn was sworn in by Superior Court Judge Jan R. Jurden with their families by their sides.
Neither Markell nor Denn gave any specifics on their goals for 2013 and their new terms as a whole, though they did unveil gun safety legislation along with Attorney General Beau Biden on Monday. But Markell was expected to give more details on his goals during his State Of The State Address scheduled for Thursday.
On Tuesday, Markell focused on how Delawareans must think about how their legacies would be measured by generations 50 or 100 years from now.
"They will know whether we responded to global economic pressures by laying a new groundwork for future prosperity or whether we allowed the American dream to fade on our watch," he said.
Page 2 of 2 - The First State's inauguration ceremony was moved to Central Middle School from the Legislative Mall because of the rain. There, Delaware State University President Dr. Harry Williams served as M.C., and the Newark High School National Guard marching band (Markell's alma mater) provided the prelude while the Delaware National Guard's 287th Army Band performed the postlude.
University of Delaware student Elizabeth Rivera sang the national anthem while Cab Calloway School of the Arts student Chad Jervis sang "This is America."
Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Bishop Francis Malooly gave the invocation at the outset of the ceremony while Rabbi Peter Grumbacher gave the benediction toward the end.