Inauguration Celebrating Best of American Story
“Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, and demonization have long torn us apart."
"The battle is perennial. Victory is never assured.Through the Civil War, the Great Depression, World Wars, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setbacks, our "better angels" have always prevailed.“
On Jan 20, President Biden’s inaugural speech offered hope signaling a new beginning in the American Story celebration. Just 2 weeks ago during one of the darkest days in our history, Trump denied election results and incited insurrection at our Capitol building to overthrow the government, threatening our 200 years old democracy, now we begin to heal and move forward.
After serving USA for 30 years as senator, 2 terms as VP alongside Obama, Biden took oath at age 78 to become our oldest President. His words, coherent and articulate, enflamed with passion and compassion, pleaded for unity and comprehension in a nation divided.
Kamala Harris, lost the democratic nomination but won the ticket as Biden’s VP and broke the glass ceiling by becoming the 1st female vice president, 1st African-American and 1st Asian-AmericanVP. She inspired young girls everywhere to dream.
And 22-year-old Amanda Gorman, the youngest ever national poet laureate, compensated for an auditory processing disorder and held nation spellbound with her lyrical words, as she recited “The Hill We Climb” to the world.
Oldest President, first ever African-Asian-American female VP and youngest poet laureate. Old, Young, Black, White. This is America. Land of opportunity. For all.
Gorman. who overcame a speech impediment, stood tall; her voice like a healing balm, rang steady in a soothing cadence and natural rhythm.
The Hill We Climb
“…Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn't mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose"
America boasts of sports icons, movie stars, media moguls, but our real champions are these folks who fought the odds and overcame terrific personal losses to keep fighting.
On a smaller scale, heroes exist within our own families. Like my maternal grandparents who came to America for a better life. When my Norwegian grandpa Gustav lost his job during the Great Depression, he walked to the Chicago Public Library everyday to read books because he always wanted to be educated but never had the opportunity.
Or my paternal grandparents who lost 2 sons. Instead of becoming bitter, they dedicated their lives as teachers and college coaches guiding other people’s sons into adulthood.
Or my parents who spent their careers as educators in the same community not seeking praise, but finding peace knowing the value in helping a child read better, stand taller, be braver.
Or me. Losing everything. Beginning again. Not once. But twice. Learning to grip, walk, talk, read and write. Never giving up in spite of great physical pain and emotional despair, looking outside of self to encourage another to get up and go on too. To continue my mission inspiring courage, breaking barriers, creating connections internationally.
That is our American story. Perseverance. Pioneer spirit. Resiliency. Courage. Tolerance. To rise up again. To rebuild Together. Hand in hand. As Biden concluded in his speech:
Here we stand, in the shadow of a Capitol dome that was completed amid the Civil War, when the Union itself hung in the balance.
Yet we endured and we prevailed.
And here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, and to drive us from this sacred ground.
That did not happen.
It will never happen.
And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear.
Of unity, not division.
Of light, not darkness.
An American story of decency and dignity.
May this be the story that guides us.
The story that inspires us.
This is our America.
This is beautiful, Pat. Great job.
I’ve always been the goof in the room, who watched inaugurations with tears in her eyes, mumbling, “I can’t believe it. LOOK at this. A peaceful transfer of power, a handoff, of the greatest office on the planet.” I’d always be rather stunned at the sight. Now everyone else recognizes it as a miracle, too.
I’m so angry. I looked up “fascist” last night. It was exactly who those people are, who Trump is. And yet, there are millions who are misguided rather than evil. How do we reach out to those people? I was so depressed when Trump got elected 4 years ago, and I wondered if the election had been stolen. But I didn’t try to overthrow the stinkin’ government!
Thanks Lynne. I appreciate your support. I guess you weren’t the only one in the room crying this year. As I watched the inauguration online from 4,000 miles eyes, tears streamed down my eyes. Witnessing what we almost lost, made it even more poignant. It restored my belief in the American spirit and hope for mankind. It will time to undo the damage, but must move forward together.
This was beautifully written Pat. I, too believe there is hope for our country. I look forward to the future with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Thanks sis! It was so good to hear from you. May this be beginning of better times for all of us.
That was beautiful, Pat. Thank you! And now, as citizens we must help our President do his job by keeping an eye on his adversaries…and calling them out!
Thanks Barb. You are right. We must help our President and elected officials do their job by watching our adversaries and holding them accountable for wrongdoings.
I felt the same emotional hope you did while watching the inauguration. If we commit to DOing something-to refusing to be silent amidst injustice-to making difficult but necessary changes, this nation can retain its dignity. God bless us all working to that end!
Well said Sheila and so true. Always appreciate hearing from you!