Wednesday was a huge day for Clif and me, for this country, and, I think, for the world. Despite the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago, we had a lawful transfer of power. Joseph Biden is now the president of the United States.
Finally, finally, Trump, his family, and their entourage left Washington, DC. I could write all kinds of snarky things about his departure, but I won’t.
Instead, I will focus on President Biden’s inauguration ceremony. Despite the restrictions that were put into place because of the raging pandemic and enough security after 1/6 to make the Capitol look like the Green Zone in Baghdad, the inauguration was a joyous, beautiful event filled with firm resolve and hope.
Here are some scenes, clipped from YouTube, that I was particularly struck by.
First, Lady Gaga, who sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” our national anthem. As the comedian Stephen Colbert noted, Lady Gaga looked as though she were wearing a red carpet instead of walking on one. Yes, she did. Lady Gaga is someone who certainly likes to make an entrance. But holy cats can she ever sing. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not a song for the fainthearted, and Lady Gaga didn’t stumble even once. Indeed, she knocked it out of the park, as the saying goes.
Wednesday was also a day of firsts as Kamala Harris—the first woman, Black, and South Asian—was sworn in as vice president. Even though it has taken too long to have a woman as vice president, this was a proud moment for this country. I hope I live long enough to see a woman sworn in as president.
Then, of course, the main event—Joe Bidden and his uplifting yet honest, plain-spoken words as his speech outlined the many challenges this country faces. And his confidence that this country was up to overcoming those challenges.
The most beautiful, luminous part of the inauguration was when a young poet, Amanda Gorman, delivered her radiant poem, “The Hill We Climb.” When she was done, I wanted to stand up and cheer.
For comic relief, there was Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders, one of my favorites, complete with mittens and a practical jacket. Bernie is never anything less than who he is, and for this I am grateful.
Finally Demi Lovato’s soaring song “Lovely Day” from the Celebrating America broadcast, an evening program which followed President Biden’s inauguration.
In the background, as Lovato sings, are faces that are black, brown, white. There are women, men, and children of various ethnicities. This is what America looks like, and we should rejoice.