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Tom Hanks: After years of ‘troubling rancor,’ Inauguration Day ‘is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal’

Tom Hanks says after years of “deep divisions and a troubling rancor in our land,” the country is ready to hear “words that will empower us all on the journey ahead.”

The “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” actor played host Wednesday to the star-studded “Celebrating America” primetime TV special for President Biden’s inauguration.

Appearing at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Hanks told viewers, “In the last few weeks, and the last few years, we’ve witnessed deep divisions and a troubling rancor in our land.”

“But tonight,” he continued, “we ponder the United States of America, the practice of our democracy, the foundations of our republic, the integrity of our Constitution, the hopes and dreams we all share for a more perfect union.”

“Inauguration Day is about much more than the swearing in of our next national leaders,” Hanks, 64, said. “This day is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal.”

“Every four years we hear the words that will empower us all on the journey ahead, a message that can unite us as we begin a new passage from where we are, to where we can be,” said Hanks, who donated to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. “A trek to a common goal, to the promise of our promised land.”

“The keynote of this day is the presidential inaugural address,” Hanks added in his opening remarks. “The new president, Republican, Democrat, lays out a vision for the nation. If the words ring out, it is not only due to the power of the oratory, it is because the dream of America has no limits and resonates well beyond any single day.”

Tags Biden inauguration Celebrating America Inauguration Joe Biden Tom Hanks

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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