( ENSPIRE News ) President Joseph R. Biden & Vice President Kamala Harris Promise Change And Unity at Inauguration
ENSPIRE Contributor: Elizabeth Casillas
“Democracy has prevailed,” President Biden said to the crowd gathered at the U.S Capitol to celebrate his inauguration. On January 20th, 2021 Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Masks covered faces and COVID-19 measures were in place, but nothing took away from the joy of the nation as they welcomed the newly-elected president. After 4 tumultuous years in which the nation found itself divided and broken, Biden spoke on peace, unity, and progress.
Biden’s inauguration speech touched upon subjects prevalent in American politics and society. The past four years were filled with protests, civil unrest, and a raging pandemic. Police brutality was highlighted, and activists took to the streets to raise awareness for the racism still prevalent in American systems. In addition, 402,000 American lives were lost to the novel coronavirus while 24.3 million Americans have been affected by COVID-19.
“Over the centuries through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we have come so far. But we still have far to go. We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility. Few periods in our nation’s history have been more challenging or difficult than the one we’re in now,” Biden said. Biden spoke on coming together and working toward building a better nation for everyone regardless of skin color, religion, or income. He spoke about the progress we have made, and the progress that is yet to come.
In 1920 women gained the right to vote, and now, in 2021, we welcomed our first woman Vice President Kamala Harris. Not only is Vice President Harris the first woman, but Harris is also the first Black and South Asian Vice President. This moment marked a special occasion in the hearts of every woman of color. It served as an inspiration for young women, for they were able to see themselves reflected in a position of power and know they can succeed in what they choose to do.
One such young woman is Amanda Gorman, who became the youngest inaugural poet after reciting her poem “The Hill We Climb.” The poem went over the struggles of being a Black person in America, and even though we have made progress, the battle for equality is far from over. This does not mean we dwell on the lack of progress or dwell on the imperfections thus far. Instead, we look to the future as an opportunity to make this nation equal for everyone.
“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 our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man,” Gorman said. “And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.”
The Biden-Harris administration has promised a period of progress, empathy, and unity, and this is what will move the United States forward in the next four years.