Full text of Gov. Gary Herbert's inauguration speech

Published: Monday, Jan. 3 2011 1:18 p.m. MST

Here is the full text of Gov. Gary Herbert's inauguration speech:

"Good afternoon. Thank you, General Tarbet, for that kind introduction. As we begin today, I would like to recognize several people:

"President Waddoups, Speaker-elect Lockhart, Chief Justice Durham.

"First Lady Norma Matheson, Governor Bangerter, Governor Leavitt, Governor Walker, Governor, and now Ambassador Huntsman.

"President Uchtdorf from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Pastor Davis from the Calvary Baptist Church.

"My close associate and friend, Lt. Governor Greg Bell, and his wife, JoLynn.

"And especially my wife, our First Lady, Jeanette.

"To our congressional delegation, our state legislators and local elected officials, to all of those who lead us in our communities, in our businesses and in our civic affairs and to all Utahns, I extend my greetings and my best wishes at this time of inauguration. I cannot listen to our national anthem, especially in a setting as spectacular as this rotunda of the Utah State Capitol, without a burning feeling of pride in being an American!

"This song and symbol of our freedom serves to remind us that the price of liberty is steep, and the price is still being paid today. To those in the military who have and who continue to defend our nation abroad, to those who provide public safety for us here at home and to their families who sacrifice so much, on behalf of the entire state, I express a heartfelt “thank you.”

"For me, it is indeed a special honor to have four former governors join us at this inauguration. There are but a few recorded instances in Utah history when there have been five governors gathered as they are here today. I am humbled, inspired and thankful for their presence.

"The challenges that confront Utah today, especially given the economic crisis that has impacted all Americans in the past few years, are as daunting and as serious as anything I can recall.

"We have experienced the loss of jobs, the loss of homes, and the loss of retirement savings. Our students worry about finding employment once they finish their studies. And yet, the citizens of this state have continued to show the “can do” spirit of our great heritage and are overcoming these challenges using the same determination, innovation and hard work that Utahns have shown throughout our state's history.

"Lt. Gov. Bell and I pledge to confront today’s challenges in exactly the same way. We will work tirelessly and aggressively in a manner consistent with the heritage of our state and with the example demonstrated by the great leaders in attendance here today.

"I am familiar with the challenges brought on by economic hardship. In the 1980s, I was a young real estate agent during some very tough times. Due to extremely high interest rates and a bad market, real estate was very difficult to buy or sell in Utah. For a time, there was very little income in the Herbert household. It was the Christmas season, and we realized that our traditional gift giving would not be possible.

"Jeanette gathered our five children and told them that in lieu of shopping, each child would use their own creativity to make a homemade gift for each other. Our children were very young, the oldest being 9 and the youngest had just turned 1. Their gifts ranged from treasure boxes made of scrap wood and paint to children’s handcrafted Christmas tree ornaments and T-shirts decorated with iron-on Crayon drawings.

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