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20 January 2021

The Biden inauguration

AMERICA HAS a new president, and a new day has begun. Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. takes office as the 46th president of the United States at the crossroads of historical moments. On the one hand, Kamala Harris is sworn in as the country's first female vice president. On the other, America is experiencing deep economic losses, socio-political divisions, and health crises like never before. President Biden delivered a 21-minute speech filled with compassion and commitment. It left me teary-eyed.

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. . . Here we stand, looking out on the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we mark the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can’t change.

The ceremony had a sense of austerity around it, befitting the literal state of the nation. Even the musical honors were scaled back, with Lady Gaga's impressive rendition of the American anthem a definitive high point.

It's a new day of hope and unity for America and the world. My warmest hugs to my friends and family in America. May the paths ahead of you be filled with God's mercy and grace.


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