Yesterday, Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, with Kamala Harris as the 49th vice president.
This was no ordinary inauguration. The pandemic and recent violence at the Capitol limited attendees and forced the cancellation or reimagining of many of the traditional aspects of an American inauguration.
But in spite of the chill in both the air and the political climate, the overall feeling of the day was about possibilities–starting fresh, carrying forward, seeing each other not as adversaries, but as neighbors.
There was recognition for the Capitol police officer who likely saved the lives of Mike Pence and members of the Senate. Lady Gaga sang an amazing rendition of the national anthem. Members of both parties welcomed the new president and the new vice president, who is the first woman and first person of color to occupy the office.
Some of the most powerful words spoken yesterday came from 22 year old Amanda Gorman, who is the Youth Poet Laureate and the descendent of slaves:
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation; in every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful. When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new day blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.
President Biden said unity is the path forward. Now it’s up to us to follow his lead.
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