You see, I just watched with moist eyes the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden as our 46th president. For the first time in many years, I have hope for our country.
Oh, I know the problems seem insurmountable, and so many of our citizens continue to harbor dark thoughts. But for today and tomorrow and the coming week, I just want to express joy that we have narrowly averted a national disaster. I want to relish the feeling of the possible that arose from the day long activities surrounding this transfer of power.
From the beautiful presentation of our National Anthem by Lady Gaga that rekindled the spirit of patriotism I feared I had lost.
From favorites This Land Is Your Land and America the Beautiful by Jennifer Lopez, recalling the days of World War II when it was considered completely normal to join fellow students in banging them out in school assemblies
From Garth Brooks’ singing Amazing Grace, a song/hymn that is one of my favorites for its expression of hope for those imperfect souls such as myself.
From National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s reading of her newest poem written especially for the occasion. How young she is and what a future she has! It reminded me of my niece, also a wonderful poet, but who is so much more.
From the religious leaders who participated, individuals who live lives based on the tenets of their faith without twisting them for political advantage.
From former Vice-President Michael Pence who attended the ceremony and throughout the last few days shucked the straight jacket imposed by his latest boss and acted honorably in several different ways.
From former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama who reminded us by their presence and comments later at the evening “Concert” that unity is far more important than partisan politics.
From the somberness of the swearing in of our new president and vice-president.
From Biden’s rallying speech that didn’t mince words, involved complete sentences, and rarely employed the word “I.”
From the sparse crowd that accepted without reservation the necessities of fighting the pandemic, including mask wearing and social distancing.
From the obvious love shown within the Harris and Biden families and the respect and fondness between the two families.
From the walk of the few hundred final feet to the White House.
What a wonderful change!
And that was just the beginning. In the afternoon President Biden signed 17 executive orders to start the return of our country to the thoughtful nation and dependable ally we had once been.
I had wondered how the festivities of a typical inauguration could possibly be matched in a pandemic environment. There always was something special about the parade and multiple evening balls. I needn’t have worried.
Unfortunately, the need for a dog walk forced me to miss the virtual parade so I can’t comment on that. But the evening “Concert” was a brilliantly scripted contribution by known artists and a recognition of all the people around the country who have attempted to mitigate the horrors of the pandemic. I have a feeling that most of us would like to see the “Balls” eliminated and be replaced by the “Concert” during future inaugurations.
We now have a president who seems to have an empathic heart, the courage to attack difficult problems, and the experience to lead us through them.
It is a moment to be grateful and hopeful.