Updated: Jan 26, 2021
A Declaration For American Unity
The world nervously watched an American Executive Branch transition of power on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, with most Americans and allies welcoming and hoping for a successful transition. Thankfully the inauguration and celebration performances for the 46th President, Joseph Biden, and the 49th Vice President, Kamala Harris progressed movingly with reverence, dignity and class without incident. There were so many firsts to absorb in this inauguration, from social gathering restrictions as a result of COVID-19 to heightened armed forces for security due to insurrectionist threats opposing an administration change. Most daunting of these were the new President's multiple crises awaiting him when he steps into office instead of the 1 or 2 that his predecessors experienced. Additionally, it was inspirational to witness the first female, the first African-Asian-American Vice President of the United States of America to be sworn in.
Now the difficult work to overcome critical challenges that affect the health, economic and political well-being of the country begins. Understanding the power of words, President Biden opened his presidency calling for unity and partnership from all Americans to aid in the serious work to #StopTheSpreadOfCOVID19 , accelerate #COVID19Recovery , #UniteAmerica , #CombatClimateChange and advance #CivilEquity in order to heal a traumatized country. Each of these are intimidating tasks to manage separately, but President Biden has inherited all these crises which require immediate attention out the gate. Recognizing the severity and urgency of challenges before him, he pledged to be a President for ALL Americans, and in his inaugural speech, poignantly incited that if all Americans stand "together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear; of unity, not division; of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity. Love and healing. Greatness and goodness." Words from the most powerful man in the country called to unite and inspire us all to do our part to help heal and make a better nation for all to recover, rebuild and live healthily, peacefully and prosperously together. In solidarity, President Biden's predecessors from both political parties resonate their support of his recovery plan and call to action for the people.
The Hill We Climb
The biological and digital virus, uncivil unrest, climate crisis, civil and financial inequity tested our democracy to its core, thereby awakened Americans to the true reality of the divided United States. But as love for our fellow man and country is strong, it served to strengthen our resolve and unite the good in us to persevere against these trying elements. It's demonstrated in selfless acts of everyday people from front line and essential workers to the military daily putting themselves at risk working to ensure our voting processes, medical and senior care, grocery and food supplies, mail and product deliveries, transportation, law and order were upheld to help our country move forward as much as possible in dire situations. Children and people of all ages and cultures stepped up to volunteer or raised funds to support strangers and their neighbors in need. So to those who have and continue to step up, we THANK YOU and SALUTE YOU! You demonstrate that American generosity, love and unity still exists. We just need to take part to do our part, large or small, to help others rise up from these turbulent times successfully. As poetically recited by Amanda Gorman in her poem, "The Hill We Climb", she elegantly delivered, to perfection, a summary of what Americans have endured, and the power of our boundless capabilities to overcome and accomplish whatever we envision, should we step up to be our vision.
"We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it
if only we're brave enough to be it."
The inauguration and performances aptly captured the country's tribulations, while exhibiting gratitude and respect for those that rose up to the nation's challenges, and at the same time showing reverence for all the lives lost. Lawmakers, famous celebrities and musicians from both political parties joined in support of American unity. Most symbolic of an olive branch extended was that of Garth Brooks singing "Amazing Grace" live at the inauguration. It inspires hope that together we can move towards the tunnel's end, viewing signs of light peering through. So now is the time to heal, to unite by seeing each other as fellow Americans instead of colors that divide us, to converse rather than confront about our differences, to focus on the commonalities, humanity and love that bind us in order to successfully recover and rebuild back better as a new "America United". As John Legend passionately sang, "It's a New Dawn. It's a New Day. It's a New Life for Me and I'm Feeling Goood"! Let's give peace and unity a try to begin a united America.