Friday Favorites: Scenes from an Inauguration

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.

59 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Scenes from an Inauguration”

  1. Loving the Bernie memes everywhere, including on the famous photo of the men on a girder high above the city. I’ve also gone back to see the fireworks and Garth Brooks doing ‘Amazing Grace’ with a sing-along.

  2. A fantastic recap of a fantastic Wednesday Inauguration!
    The Biden Admin has hit the ground running…not bad for an ‘old’ man (I hope that the unspoken bias against us oldsters will be forever banished – he represents that slice of America IMHO, too, just watch him go!!!)

    1. Amanda Gorman is indeed a rock star. Lots of hard work to do after the past four years, but at least we have people in charge who have a good idea as to which direction we should be heading.

  3. We stopped work to watch the inauguration and I’m glad we did… especially hearing Amanda Gorman – she’s fabulous. We wondered whether Lady Gaga’s skirt was to ensure social distancing!

  4. The Inauguration has lifted my spirits immensely! Biden and Harris etc have a huge task ahead of them but could not have made a better start. And the sun is shining here (UK) after a big storm – perfect symbolism!

    1. Indeed it is! What a huge, horrible mess Biden and Harris have. At least they have the intelligence and the compassion to deal with it. A huge, huge improvement over the last administration.

  5. Yes to all you said. It looked like Lady Gaga was a tiny bit nervous before she started, but wow, her singing, flawless. I’m the kind of person who worries about someone falling down all those steps. First those steep cement steps, and then the carpeted steps.

  6. I fell asleep before the evening events started, but woke in time to see John Legend sign at the Lincoln Memorial. Beautiful. Thank you for giving everyone a overview of the day. I actually did applaud when Amanda finished reciting her poem. I thought, because it went so fast and was encompassing that I had missed parts, so I read the whole piece again today, and realized I had heard it all…it was just so much to process in the moment. I will read it again I know.

  7. Love everything! We will definitely be hearing and seeing more from Amanda Gorman. And my granddaughter is so thrilled to see women in powerful positions: Speaker of the House, Vice President. Don’t you think there’s a good chance, given Biden’s age, that he won’t seek a second term and Kamala will be poised to be the next president! We can hope and work for it!

  8. A lovely summation of a stunning day. I am still a bit numb from the last four years, but I feel hope and happiness creeping back in to my bones. I do applaud the diversity in all aspects of the day/this administration and Amanda Gorman is a perfect example of why we need such diversity. She’s a star.

  9. Thank you for beautiful overview Laurie! I watched the inauguration live and was deeply moved by the speeches and the hope and resolve expressed in them. Amanda Gorman’ s poem and delivery were electric and I really enjoyed Lady Gaga’s performance too. The world is rejoicing and we look forward with you to the journey ahead 🤗💖 xxx

  10. Thanks for the clips Laurie, I missed some of the Inauguration, so it was great to see some highlights. You are right Lady Gaga sure can sing! And Amanda Gorman is a great inspiration for young people, such a positive message.
    A great day for democracy indeed!

  11. What an auspicious day! and such a celebration!
    Thank you for sharing some of your favourite bits. I listened to the anthem – difficult not to be moved to tears.

    You must be so relieved that measures are now in place for safety.

  12. I am so glad you and many of your fellow countrymen are finding cause for hope after such a troubled time. I doubt whether the far right will stop agitating and I don’t envy Biden his ‘to do’ list but at least he will try!

  13. Hi Laurie, Yes, it was an awesome inauguration. I finally feel like I can breathe again now that it’sl over and we have a rational person in charge. Thanks for sharing all the clips.

  14. You caught the best of the highlights, Laurie. What a wonderful day with amazing songs, stunning poetry, and a commitment to truth and progress. My heart was/is full of hope. It’s amazing to me that it was only 5 days ago. Here’s to a kinder, healthier, and more prosperous future for all.

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