“America has been tested anew, and America has risen to the challenge,” President Joe Biden said today in his inauguration speech.
“Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy,” the newly sworn in 46th POTUS told a masked and social distanced gathering under unprecedented security. “The people, the will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. … At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”
“On this January Day my whole soul is in this, bringing America together,” Biden proclaimed, paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln.
Uniting our people. Uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause,” he deliberately said, frankly asking political foes to give him a chance to bind the wounds of the past four years.
Joe Biden Sworn In As 46th President Of The United States; Kamala Harris Becomes 1st Female & Person Of Color VP – Update
“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal,” Biden declared, without ever mentioning Donald Trump by name. “We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility and if we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes.”
Coming just two weeks after the very Capitol he was standing in front of was attacked by a MAGA mob spurned on by Donald Trump, Biden took on the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, the divisions and the evil of white supremacy, as well as seeking to capture the historical moment as Kamala Harris became the first woman and first person of color to serve as Vice President.
“The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer,” the former VP told a crowd that included ex-Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and his old boss Barack Obama. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward,” Biden added in a desire to turn the page on the former Celebrity Apprentice host’s chaotic administration.
“I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days,” the new President said, taking the blade out of his critics’ hands in a few words. “I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. I also know they are not new,” he continued in the determined and passionate inaugural address. “Unity is the path forward.”
“We’ll lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example,” Biden added in what may become one of the most cited quotes of the 21-minute speech. A speech that contained a poignant moment of silence for the more than 400,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19 – something Americans haven’t had in the past year of lockdowns and death.
As powerful and direct as the new President’s highly praise speech (even Fox News said some nice things), the words of the day belong to poet Amanda Gorman. The 22-year old former National Youth Poet Laureate truly captured the moment and lightening in a bottle with her reading of her work The Hill We Climb after Biden’s remarks.
Written with the horrors of the pitchfork assault on Congress’ certification of the electoral college votes in mind, the verse soared over Washington DC and those watching at home.
The poem from the LA-based Gorman said in part:
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
It can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith, we trust.
For while we have our eyes on the future,
history has its eyes on us.
Watch Gorman read The Hill We Climb today in total here, via Stacey Abrams:
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) January 20, 2021
Biden leaves the Capitol now to participate in a semi-virtual parade, pay tribute to the fallen with a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and sign up to 17 Executive Orders to begin to undo the damage of Trump’s term. Among those being inked – ending the Muslim Ban, demand the wearing of masks on federal property and over state lines, stop the border wall construction.
Taking to social media soon after taking office, Biden asserted he was on the job already in verse of his own:
There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face. That’s why today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work delivering bold action and immediate relief for American families.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 20, 2021
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