Editor's Note: President-elect Barack Obama has written an Inauguration Eve essay exclusively for The Washington Times. An excerpt from the essay appears below. To read the entire essay click here.

On the day of the first inauguration to take place in this city, a small band of citizens gathered to watch Thomas Jefferson assume office. Our young and fragile democracy had barely finished a long and contentious election that tested our founding ideals, and there were those who feared our union might not endure.

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It was a perilous moment. But Jefferson announced that while we may differ in opinion, we all share the same principles. "Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind," he said, urging those assembled to begin anew the work of building a nation.

While our problems may be new, what is required to overcome them is not. -- President-elect Barack Obama

At each and every moment, the American people have joined with one heart and one mind -- not just to commemorate a new president, but to celebrate those common ideals, share our hopes for a brighter future and resolve to advance our bold experiment.

Tomorrow, we'll gather at a new time of great challenge for the American people. Our nation is at war. Our economy is in turmoil. We have much work to do toward restoring prosperity and renewing the promise of this nation.

And yet while our problems may be new, what is required to overcome them is not. What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our Founders displayed. What is also required is that we break free from rigid ideology and small thinking, and together grab hold of this opportunity to bridge partisan divides and deliver change for the American people.

Click here to read the entire essay by President-elect Barack Obama.