It happened! This is real! These tears are happy tears of relief. Check out our thoughts on some of the highlights from today’s inauguration of America’s 46th President Joe Biden, and Madam Vice President, Kamala Harris.
Eugene Goodman: An American Hero
Officer Eugene Goodman, the man who lured rioters away from the Senate chambers during the January 6th insurrection, is being recognized for the hero he is. During this morning’s inauguration, he escorted Vice President Kamala Harris to the ceremony, fulfilling the duties of his new role as acting deputy Senate sergeant at arms. Last week, three lawmakers, Democratic Representatives Charlie Crist of Florida and Emanuel Cleaver II, along with Republican Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina introduced legislation to award Goodman with the Congressional Gold Medal for…literally saving democracy. Congratulations and thank you for your service, Mr. Goodman.
Amanda Gorman: The Youngest Inauguration
Poet Already Has Her Sights on 2036
Amanda Gorman, a 22 year old poet and activist became the youngest Inauguration Poet today with her incredibly powerful recital of The Hill We Climb, a piece she wrote specifically for this moment. She joined the ranks of Maya Angelou, who served in this role during the inauguration of Bill Clinton, with On The Pulse of Morning. In 1993, Oprah Winfrey gifted the late great Angelou with the coat she wore for the reading, continuing the tradition Winfrey gave Gourman a cage shaped ring, an homage to I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Gourman told the New York Times in 2017 “This is a long, long, faraway goal, but 2036 I am running for office to be president of the United States…So you can put that in your iCloud calendar.” It should be noted that she will be 37 in 2036, the first year she will legally be able to run.
Her reading today had several incredibly powerful lines. She ended with this one, and we will too: “There is always light if only we are brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Madam Vice President
We’re not crying, you’re crying. It probably doesn’t need to be said but, this morning Justice Sonia Sotomayor swore in America’s first black, east Asian, woman vice president Kamala Harris. It was short, sweet, and poignant as hell (even if she did mispronounce her name). Madam Vice President is the first of so many things, opening doors previously closed to those who are not white men. For the first time in a long time we are proud of this country. Now let’s put those iconic Chucks to WORK!
The 46th President of the United States
Today is the day we’ve been holding our breath for, the day we all feared would never come. Today, we welcomed in the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden. Poised at the edge of our seats, we eagerly watched him being sworn in and we watched him speak, praying the other shoe wouldn’t drop and that he’d stay safe. He did and we feel safer for it. In his speech, he called out domestic terrorists, the attack on truth, and called for unity. Then he called in those who did not support him, saying, “Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it, that’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peacefully.”
“In another January, on New Year’s day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote ‘If my name ever goes down in history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.’ My whole soul is in it. Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this.”
After four tumultuous years of uncertainty and division, we are hopeful for sanity, for progress, for “cooling temperatures,” for boring. Good god let the next 4–8 years be boring—but let there be both peace and justice.