Neil Abercrombie was sworn in Monday as Hawaii’s seventh governor. Brian Schatz took the oath as lieutenant governor.
The Democrat duo succeed Republican Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, who served two four-year terms.
Thousands of people turned out for the ceremony at Iolani Palace. Associate Justice James Duffy then administered the oath of office, which was followed by a 19-gun salute.
Abercrombie released this Inauguration Day Message to the People of Hawaii:
“This morning the sun rose in paradise, bringing a new day. What becomes of this day is in our hands — as stewards of our land and water, providers for our families, and citizens of our beloved Hawaii.
“On this day in Hawaii we begin our work on building a sustainable prosperity that can be enjoyed today and for generations to come, we will make investments in the capabilities of our people, and we will build strong communities based on our core values of compassion and unity.
“Our first task is accelerating our recovery by restoring and creating good jobs, capitalizing on new opportunities, working smarter and more creatively, and building partnerships to optimize results. We can no longer spend precious time and energy fighting to gain a political edge. Instead we must focus all our efforts on Hawaii’s future and our respective roles in it. Each one of us has important work to do — as laborers and managers, business owners and innovators, public and private sector leaders, educators and caregivers.
“We will face challenges, but we will not let these become excuses. Rather our driving message will be, “Make it happen!” We will let our actions speak as we move forward toward our common goals. In the end, if we actually do what we say we will do — consistently aligned with our deepest sense of what is right — then we will restore confidence in our government and in ourselves. The measure of our success will be a welcome restoration of pride and honor in our Hawaii. We will know that we have lived in accordance with our most treasured values.
“Before we begin this work today, let us take a moment to reflect on those who came before us, who overcame nature’s challenges, economic struggle, and war and discrimination to provide us with the opportunities we have today. ”Their stories provide us this revelation: if we are to succeed in our new day, we must make a solemn commitment to one another. We cannot let personal differences overwhelm our pursuit of the public good. We cannot let cynicism and doubt eclipse our focus on what is possible. We must forgive each other for our mistakes and shortcomings. We must reach out to each other with encouragement and kind regard. And we must do our best, every day, to act with aloha in our hearts.
“I have repeatedly said that this election was not about me or any other individual. This is about us and our desire to regain control of our destiny as island people. It is about a recommitment to the golden rule that reigns over Hawaii — that we live aloha everyday so we can survive and thrive, working together for the good of all. ”Yes these are challenging times, but together we are a resourceful and resilient people. When we work as one, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. When all paddle together, the shore will surely be reached.
“Let us walk with purpose — humbly, courageously, united and forward into this new day.
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