Defeated Hillary Clinton urges renewed 'fight for values'

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called on Wednesday for a renewed fight for a more-inclusive United States despite disappointment over an election loss that laid bare national divisions.

In her first public remarks since conceding to Republican Donald Trump last week, Clinton said that many Americans were asking whether his victory meant the United States was still the country they thought it was.

"The divisions laid bare by this election run deep, but please listen to me when I say this. America is worth it, our children are worth it," she said at a Children Defense Fund event honoring scholarship winners.

"Believe in our country, fight for our values and never, ever give up."

RELATED: Hillary Clinton honored at the Children's Defense Fund Gala

12 PHOTOS
Hillary Clinton at Children's Defense Fund Gala
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Hillary Clinton at Children's Defense Fund Gala

Hillary Clinton addresses the Children's Defense Fund's Beat the Odds celebration at the Newseum in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016.

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Hillary Clinton hugs Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the, Children's Defense Fund, before addressing the group's Beat the Odds celebration at the Newseum in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016.

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Hillary Clinton walks from the stage after speaking to the Childrenâs Defense Fund in Washington, U.S., November 16, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Hillary Clinton pauses as she speaks at the Children's Defense Fund Beat the Odds Celebration at the Newseum in Washington on November 16, 2016.

(YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton receives a standing ovation while being honored during the Children's Defense Fund's Beat the Odds Celebration at the Newseum November 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. This was the first time Clinton had spoken in public since conceeding the presidential race to Republican Donald Trump.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton is seen thru two chairs as she addresses the Children's Defense Fund's Beat the Odds celebration at the Newseum in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016.

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Former Secretary of State and former Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton delivers remarks while being honored during the Children's Defense Fund's Beat the Odds Celebration at the Newseum November 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. This was the first time Clinton had spoken in public since conceeding the presidential race to Republican Donald Trump.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton and Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund, wave before Clinton speaks to the group in Washington, U.S., November 16, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Hillary Clinton arrives at the Children's Defense Fund Beat the Odds Celebration at the Newseum in Washington on November 16, 2016.

(YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton speaks to the Childrenâs Defense Fund in Washington, U.S., November 16, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Hillary Clinton is seen through a teleprompter as she speaks at the Children's Defense Fund Beat the Odds Celebration at the Newseum in Washington on November 16, 2016.

(YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Although Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman called the nonprofit advocacy group's event "a love-in for Hillary Rodham Clinton," the former first lady said it had not been easy for her to attend.

"There have been times this past week when all I wanted to do was just to curl up with a good book or our dogs, and never leave the house again," said Clinton, whose ties to the Children Defense Fund date back to her work there as a young law student.

Clinton, a former secretary of state, won the popular vote but lost the crucial electoral college tally to Trump, a New York real estate magnate who has taken a hard line on immigration and has opposed accepting Syrian refugees.

"I know many of you are deeply disappointed by the results of the election. I am too, more than I can ever express," Clinton said.

"But as I said last week, our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love, and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive and big hearted."

SEE ALSO: Bernie Sanders: 'Maybe I would've been president'

She said that help for children backed by Republicans and Democrats was a hopeful sign of both parties working together. The federal Children's Health Insurance Program, for example, now covers 8 million children and its creation had relied on bipartisan support, Clinton said.

"For the sake of our children, and our families and our country, I ask you to stay engaged, stay engaged on every level," Clinton said.

She added, "I am as sure of this as anything I have ever known. America is still the greatest country in the world, it is still the place where anyone can beat the odds."

34 PHOTOS
Inside both Trump and Clinton's NYC election night events
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Inside both Trump and Clinton's NYC election night events
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 8: Men walk backstage at the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's Election Night event at New York Hilton Midtown in New York City on Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: A screen is positioned in front of buildings ahead of Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night event outside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center November 8, 2016 in New York City. Clinton is running against Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Workers iron a US flag as they prepare the US map shaped stage for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016. Eager voters crowded into polling stations to choose a new US president Tuesday after a wild and bitter contest between the billionaire populist Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Democrat seeking to become the first woman to win the White House. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 8: Trump campaign paraphernalia is seen behind a velvet rope at Donald Trump's Election Night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City on Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A supporter wearing a cape watches Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A Trump supporter waits for the Trump rally to begin at the Hilton Hotel during the U.S. presidential election in New York City, New York, U.S. November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Preperations take place before Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Americans today will choose between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Supporters cheer as they watch election returns during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
People begin to arrive outside the Jacob Javits Center for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's rally in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
People watch elections returns during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016. US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will hold her election night event at the convention center. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
A 'Make America Great Again' sign is displayed ahead of an election night party for 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump at the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Fifty-one percent of voters nationally were bothered a lot by Trump's treatment of women, while Democrat Hillary Clinton's use of private e-mail while secretary of state was troubling to 44 percent, according to preliminary exit polling as voting neared a close in some states. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: A supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Americans today will choose between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Supporters celebrate during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 8: A Donald Trump supporter takes a picture of the press pen at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trumps election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City on Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A supporter holds a sign at the election night rally for U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, New York, U.S., on November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
'Hispanics For Trump' signs sit on a table ahead an election night party for 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump at the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Fifty-one percent of voters nationally were bothered a lot by Trump's treatment of women, while Democrat Hillary Clinton's use of private e-mail while secretary of state was troubling to 44 percent, according to preliminary exit polling as voting neared a close in some states. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: A supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cheers during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Americans today will choose between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Eva Pearson of Long Island, NY holds her hands to her face as she watches voting results at Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center November 8, 2016 in New York City. Clinton is running against Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is projected on a screen on election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center November 8, 2016 in New York City. Clinton is running against Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Woman hold ups up boxing gloves while cheering during an election night party for 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton at the Javits Center in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Fifty-one percent of voters nationally were bothered a lot by Republican Donald Trump's treatment of women, while Clinton's use of private e-mail while secretary of state was troubling to 44 percent, according to preliminary exit polling as voting neared a close in some states. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Two women chat ahead of Republican Donald Trump's election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Millions of Americans turned out Tuesday to decide whether to send Democrat Hillary Clinton to the White House as their first woman president or to put their trust in Republican maverick populist Donald Trump. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Guests watch a screen proclaiming Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as winning the state of Illinois at the election night rally at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump watch news reports as results come in during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were running neck and neck Tuesday in early results as polling stations closed in the eastern United States, with the world waiting anxiously to see who will win the historic White House clash. A deeply divided electorate of about 200 million Americans were asked to make a momentous choice between electing the nation's first woman president, or handing the reins of power to a billionaire populist who has upended US politics with his improbable outsider campaign. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A guest reacts as she watches results on a television screen during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A man reacts to returns at Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
Marvin DeLeon (L) of Washington County, NY, cries as he stands in the overflow crowd for Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, U.S. November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump watch early results during the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Americans today will choose between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump watch news reports as results come in during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were running neck and neck Tuesday in early results as polling stations closed in the eastern United States, with the world waiting anxiously to see who will win the historic White House clash. A deeply divided electorate of about 200 million Americans were asked to make a momentous choice between electing the nation's first woman president, or handing the reins of power to a billionaire populist who has upended US politics with his improbable outsider campaign. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump watch results unfold on a TV screen during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. / AFP / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump react to unfolding results during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. / AFP / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton watch elections results during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react to early poll results during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman weeps as election results are reported during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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