Tom Hanks opens Joe Biden inauguration event with powerful statement about 'the journey ahead'

The star acknowledged 'a troubling rancor' in recent weeks and years

Tom Hanks is looking forward.

The Oscar winner served as the host of the "Celebrating America" television special on Wednesday night following the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

Hanks, 64, appeared several times throughout the program, introducing a slew of acts that included the likes of Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake and more.

At the top of the evening, the "Cast Away" actor addressed the division between Americans that has been the subject of discussion for some time now.

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"I'm at the Lincoln Memorial, on the National Mall, in our nation's secured capital city," he said. "The last few weeks, last few years, we've witnessed deep divisions and a troubling rancor in our land. But tonight we ponder the United States of America."

He added: "The practice of our democracy, the foundations of our republic, the integrity of our Constitution, the hope and dreams we all share for a more perfect union."

Next, Hanks explained that while Inauguration Day was certainly a signal of a large change in America, it was also "about much more than the swearing in of our next national leaders."

"This day is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal," he said. "Every four years we hear the words that will empower us all on the journey ahead, the message that can unite us, as we begin a new passage from where we are to where we can be. A trek to a common goal, to the promise of our promised land."

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Among those who joined Hanks in speaking for the event were Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Tim McGraw, Katy Perry, John Legend and many more stars offered up performances during the special as well.

Earlier in the day, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks performed at the ceremony, which saw President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris be sworn in to their respective offices.