President-Elect Joe Biden looking on as the first Latina member of the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, administered the oath of office to our first ever woman Vice President, Kamala Harris, was both deeply moving and a great relief. To see two caring persons back in the White House, knowing they’ll be surrounded by a diverse, competent senior staff and cabinet made me feel as though I had emerged from a dungeon. I welcome the light and wish President Biden and Vice President Harris — and all of us — godspeed.
Though women are still woefully under-represented in leadership roles, today, Vice President Harris, making history not only as a woman, but a woman of African American and South Asian descent, gave me confidence that she will command an important brief in this administration–and eventually–hold this nation’s top office. The significance of her being resplendent in suffragette purple (just like Hillary) was also not lost on me.
Today’s inauguration ceremony, representing America’s peaceful transfer of power, was more important than ever given the horrifying events of January 6th. As much as I wish for unity, first must come accountability. There is no moving on without it. I know many were apprehensive about having President Biden and VP Harris’ swearing in ceremony in its familiar outdoor location, but that tradition, too, was more important than ever given recent events.
Even writing the words “traditional walk to the White House” made me emotional. I’m grateful we had the opportunity to witness that today. Those traditions remind us “…that our flag [is] still there”.
Likewise, last night’s ceremony before the Lincoln Memorial, honoring our 400,000+ dead from Covid-19–the first such ceremony or acknowledgment we have had from our government for the loss of our loved ones–telegraphs a return to decency, reality, science, compassion and responsibility. That the last administration couldn’t be bothered to show that respect leaves a painful mark. All my gratitude to President Biden and Vice President Harris for taking the time to acknowledge our grief and loss.
I hope these ceremonies also remind us that we’re all in this together. Our nation rises or falls, together.
May we all see better days ahead.