From the moment I woke up the TV has been on and turned to the inauguration of our 46th president. Our nation has been facing challenges not seen in generations. The last 4 years have been more divisive than any I’ve lived through; we’ve fought a pandemic taking over 400,000 American lives to date and two weeks ago there was an attempted coup at the US Capital. All that and yet today there is hope. Today we replace an attempted tyrant with a hard-working statesman.
Joe Biden was not my first pick for president, but I am happy to have him as my commander in chief. Early on I was a fan of Pete Buttigieg and am happy to see he has found a place in the new cabinet. The democratic party has had some real challenges and in-fighting but at least they didn’t galvanize around an angry, dishonest philanderer.
Today on the steps of the capital where just a couple weeks ago thousands of disillusioned extremists trespassed, damaged, stole and shared hate all due to a lie told by our nation’s “leader” a peaceful transition of power occurred. It was much different than past inaugurations. Security was at its highest, the crowds were low, masks were worn by everyone and for the first time I can remember the outgoing president was not there.
The tradition and honor shown was nothing short of magnificent. In 2018 my family took a three-week tour through the East coast spending 8 days in the Washington DC area. Although I have watched every inauguration of my adult life this is the first where I can relate to the surrounding. Remembering our tour of the capital, walking the National Mall and watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was powerful for me and in this moment it gives me a small personal connection to the events of today. Previously it seemed so far away in a land I only partially understood but now as an American I am proud to say, I’ve been there.
The musical performances were by Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks. One of my favorite moments was when Garth went around and hugged or kissed the Obama’s, Clinton’s and Bush’s. Clearly he didn’t care about their politics and was just proud to be a part of such an important moment. I have since learned that he has sang at every inauguration since Carter with the exception of Ronald Reagan.
The moment that gave me chills though was the poem “The Hill We Climb” written and presented by Amanda Gorman. Despite her small stature she spoke with strength and eloquence. Like most Americans watching from home I went to google to find out more about her. Her moment in the spotlight was not squandered and I suspect we have not seen the last of her. Please take a moment to watch the video of her presentation.
Today is a glorious day and one we will remember but tomorrow is when the real work starts. Tomorrow is when our oldest president inherits a nation in disarray, with divisive politics, a delusional populous and in a poorly managed pandemic. We do not have the power he has but every day we choose how we impact the world. Our actions no matter how minor play a role in the success or failure of those around us. Let’s all do our best to be a part of the solution. Be well my friends.