CWN.org - History was officially made at 12:05 p.m. in Washington, D.C, as Barack Obama was sworn in as America's 44th president--and the first African American ever to hold the nation's highest office.
With all living former presidents and vice presidents in attendance--and newly sworn in Vice President Joe Biden looking on--President Obama wasted no time getting right down to business in his first speech as commander-in-chief.
Click play for more with CBN News' Erick Stakelbeck on what President Obama could do to reach out to the Muslim world.
After a 21 gun salute, he laid out the serious problems America faces--that the U.S. is in the midst of a financial crisis and a nation at war.
But the president made clear his view that rumors of America's demise are greatly exaggerated. the themes of hope and looking to the future resonated in the speech as it did throughout his campaign.
"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real," he said. "They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America --they will be met."
President Obama took the oath before an estimated crowd of some 1.4 million onlookers on the National Mall. Many in this sea of humanity joyously chanted the new president's name.
Pastor Rick Warren delivered the invocation, praying for the president and his family.
"Give to our new President Barack Obama the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity,: Warren prayed.
President Obama will need all of those qualities to meet the foreign policy challenges America is facing.
In his speech, he vowed to defeat terrorism and roll back the threat of nuclear weapons. He also promised to reach out to the Muslim world and battle global poverty.
They're ambitious goals, but the new president's supporters are confident he can accomplish them.