By: Maria Giovanna Jumper
As President Donald Trump departed from the White House, en route to Florida, a new era of American democracy began in front of the same building that was ravaged by a mob just two weeks ago.
The past year has been filled with many firsts, but finally some firsts that we can be proud of through history. The first female Vice President was inaugurated on those steps. As Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor presented the oath of office to the Vice President, women and girls across the country looked on with hope as history began a new journey; one where the highest office of our land is open to all citizens of the United States of America. As we watched, Kamala Harris, a woman born when Black women in this country faced barriers to voting, took on this office and we have begun this new chapter.
Previous Presidents and Vice Presidents, with the notable absence of Donald Trump, stood and watched in silent support of the new President and Vice President.
As we moved closer to noon, the 46th President of the United States of America, Joseph R. Biden, was sworn into office by Chief Justice John Roberts. After being inaugurated into the office President Biden offered words of unity and hope for our country. He stated that he would be President for those who elected him and those who did not.
President Biden called the divide between parties an “uncivil war” that must come to an end. He continued to say “we will get through this together,” speaking about both our divided country and our current state of the pandemic.
As he did throughout his campaign, Biden spoke to repairing the very soul of America. During his speech he took time to hold a moment of silence for those lost throughout this pandemic: offering to support actions to end this pandemic, support those fighting for racial justice, and to take on our climate in crisis.
President Biden continued to speak of healing and love as our story for the next four years. He stated, “I give you my word I will always level with you, I will defend our constitution, I will defend America.” He called the last few months a test of our democracy and proof to the world that in America the democratic process will win out.
Biden called on repairing alliances and our nation in the years to come. Ending his speech he said, “God bless America. God bless our troops. Thank you America.”
As a nation we are entering a new era. We must turn away from actions that threaten the very fabric of our democracy. We must, as a people, unite under our new President and Vice President and continue to fight for justice and liberty for all. It is time to not only put our faith in our democratic institutions, but in ourselves, our neighbors and our fellow citizens.
The past year has been filled with unprecedented events. Throughout all of these trials and tribulations the Constitution of the United States of America has been a guiding light to the promise of democracy that we saw outside of the Capitol on this Wednesday afternoon.