Finally, at last, ultimately Donald J. Trump, the second one-term president in US history, left the White House and his presidency without even having the courtesy to attend the inauguration of his successor Joseph R. Biden, who was sworn-in at an impressive ceremony at the Capitol, as the 46th President of the United States of America and Kamala Devi Harris as its Vice President. Ms. Harris, an American of South-Asian/Jamaican origin also made history by being the first woman to be sworn-in to the second highest office in the US.
Meanwhile, we carry excerpts from President Joe Biden’s inaugural address underpinning a Biden-Harris Administration:
“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope. Of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge. Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded.
“We have learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And, at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed. So now on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundations, we come together as one nation under God indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.
“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. Of love and healing. Of greatness and of goodness. May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us. The story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history. We met the moment. That democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrived.
“So with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time. Sustained by faith. Driven by conviction. And devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and may God protect our troops”.
We conclude with a few lines from national youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman’s self-penned inaugural poem, ‘The Hill We Climb’ urging unity and togetherness:
“When day comes we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast. We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace. And the norms and notions of what just isn’t always justice. And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. We, the successors of a country and a time 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 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. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all. Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true. That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped. That even as we tired, we tried. That forever be tied together victorious. Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division”.
“So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left with. We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the West. We will rise from the wind-swept northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution. We will rise from the Lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked South. We will rebuild, reconcile and recover in 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”.
Our wish, for all Americans is that, unlike the yesterday thy left behind, their tomorrow may be one of hope, promise and fulfillment.