Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Hill We Climb(ed) Yesterday

  Capitol Hill. Inauguration Day of President Biden and Vice President Harris, unique in its simplicity. Every song, every speech — imbued with history, dignity, grace.

    There were many wonderful moments but I’ll share two of my favorites from this long-awaited day.

  The first took place before the inauguration ceremony even began. Two weeks ago to the day, the Capitol was the scene of one of the worst events in US history, an attempted coup. Unbelievable images of chaos, of desecration, betrayal, injury, and death were broadcast from this building, images burned into stunned American eyes as we watched.  

  Yesterday two short weeks later, on Inauguration Day, a hero walked here again.  
 On January 6th, Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman brilliantly and bravely led an armed mob of barbarians away from the Senate chamber and their intended victims.  

  On January 20, newly promoted Deputy House Sergeant-at-Arms Eugene Goodman led Vice-President-to-be Harris to the inaugural area and remained at her side for the swearing-in ceremony.  

 Another stellar moment for me was the marvelous performance of a young poet, Amanda Gorman, of her poem, The Hill We Climb.

 This skinny Black girl, as she described herself, knocked it out of the park! 
  So much responsibility on her young shoulders and she pulled it off like a wise old sage with youthful pizzazz. 
  Tasked with illuminating all that happened in the last four years and the last fourteen days so newly heavy on our hearts; with uniting a countryful of individuals screaming and yelling and even shooting at each other; with comforting families and friends of 400,000 dead Americans and igniting a flame of healing and hope in better days ahead ... 

 I leave you with some of her beautiful words.

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

“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

“It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it's the past we step into
and how we repair it

“We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children's birthright”


  1. It was broadcast live here so I was able to watch most of it. As you said it was a dignified ceremony. It was reassuring to see someone with so much experience taking on this role. We can now live in hope of a better future.

  2. It was a good day for the world. What is so sobering about it all is the fact that we rejoiced in civility, in the simple ability of people to talk to each other in a calm and dignified manner, that names were not called, that the press was not called the enemy of the people, that individual reporters were not singled out and labelled dishonest people. It is a sign of how far discourse, civility and decency had been obliterated when a rational man speaking calmly and portending better things to come became exceptional. There is a tough road ahead for President Biden but I join with the whole world in wishing him well. I am thrilled that Kamala Harris is Vice-President. She will make her mark - of that I have no doubt. The Poet Laureate was spectacular, far beyond what one could have reasonably expected, and her words were glorious. The one aspect I did not like especially was the display of so many flags. These symbols of a nation so quickly become representative of jingoism and xenophobia. If you wish to see how pieces of coloured cloth can be used to inflame passions study Nazi Germany, or in fact look at the insurrection in Washington on 6 January. I am not a fan of flags. Flowers would have been far better. My final comment is that I hope that Trump, and his family and his cadre of sycophants, fade into obscurity forever, and that his period in Washington will be like a small ink spot on a clean sheet of paper. The 74 millions of Americans who voted for him may not permit that to happen, however.

  3. The World leaders and organisations have breathed a gigantic sigh of relief.
    Biden rejoining the Paris Agreement, WHO etc etc plus the various ASIAN and South East Asian groups is
    Yesterday here in Australia we had nothing but analysis after analysis of what that fool had done.
    He would NOT have been amused.
    I think he may have to sell off his golf courses to stay afloat.
    I wonder would the Caymen Islands welcome here. I have a feeling that Florida is not too happy!!!
    Let's ;eave the bastard and his offspring to rot in the bust bins of history. Just imagine being on the
    same page as Caligua, Nero, Hitler and Stalin.
    I think it is time to put the "U" back into the UNITED STATES.

    Joe and Kamala have a task that very few, if any, present and past World leaders would like to have
    PS: I still won't wear my RED Haneda golf club (Bali) cap. I'll wait until the dust has really properly settled

    1. OOps - " the Caymen Islands welcome here." - HERE is HIM.
      Somehow I think that would be too much even for them.

  4. We watched and were so relieved with the civility, the participants, the history being made with Kamala Harris as our Veep. The poem was awesome as was her recitation of it. Lady Gaga's dress! I didn't realize that Goodman had been appointed to that post. I did see that video of what he managed to do to keep the rioters from gaining the Senate when the senators were still there. Did you watch the evening program? That was stunning too! We are on the right track again after a wasted 4 years.

  5. Most comments I've read deal with hope and relief.

  6. Amanda Gorman is something else ( as they say). I saw her the night before on the PBS news and was so impressed. The US's first Youth Poet Laureate !!

  7. I watched the highlights, the poet was part of it and made a massive impression, what a talent that young woman has. I pray that time will heal your beautiful country and that it will once more become united.

  8. What beautiful words from the young women, I watched a video of her poem in it's entirety, enjoyed it immensely.
    Hopefully life in America will improve for many now you have a new President.

  9. Dear Cynthia, thank you for sharing Amanda Gorman's words with us. I can't hear them often enough. So much wisdom for us to ponder in the days and weeks and years ahead. I hope that many of those in Congress who have been so hard-hearted toward others will also respond to her words and that their stony hearts will crack open to receive and to be the light that she spoke of with the ending of her poem. Peace.

  10. It was a relief and a great day. The poet was amazing. The 400 000 flags made me very sad.

  11. We didn't watch...and are not real hopeful...he already stopped the pipeline...will we be able to heat our homes in the next 4 years??? We do need heat up here in Minnesota:(

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Brings tears to my eyes even as I read her words. So wise.

  14. Well said Cynthia. I was in tears though most of the ceremony. Don't worry about my open carry her gun fellow Minnesotan freezing to death she as you might suspect is a Trump cultist no typica of most Minnesotans.