A NEW DAY
Inauguration of Joe Biden
For NAHJ; palabra - January 2021
Clear skies and a cool breeze ushered change in Washington, D.C. this week. Mother Nature punctuated a feeling of new beginnings that many shared in the nation’s capital as Joe Biden was sworn in as president. It was remarkably different from the atmosphere on Jan. 6, when supporters of former president Donald Trump attempted a far-right coup: Thousands had stormed Capitol Hill, dozens invaded the halls of Congress, and suspended - temporarily - the last formal legislative certification of Joe Biden’s presidential ascension.
On Wednesday, Jan. 20, the overriding sentiment was a mix of relief and joy. Everyday people, separated from the vast lawn of the National Mall by a tall metal fence and thousands of National Guard troops, seemed satisfied: Democracy has been tested of late, they said, by pandemic, by recession and that ugly coup attempt. Yet, we’re still standing. The sense of victory overwhelmed fear of a threat of more violence from Trumpists, disappointment over having to miss the actual inauguration, and the chill of a stiff wind that got everyone to envy Bernie Sanders’ home-made mittens.
A turn of the political table.
Near a police barricade, two Trump supporters held signs calling for Biden’s impeachment because voting irregularities that they still believe stole the presidential election. (Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene quickly obliged, filing articles on Thursday.) This, they said, because Democrats had posted their first impeachment articles against Trump right after his inauguration in 2017 One protester’s shirt read, Make America Great Again.
The two stood alone, flanked by photographers and a few Biden supporters, one woman looked around and said, “I thought there’d be more of us!” They were outnumbered this time.
People from around the country bought tickets months ago to be on hand for the inauguration. They didn’t know then that, because of the deadly coup attempt, they’d have to stand outside security fences. They were left to stream the swearing-in and inaugural address and hear Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez on their phones. Yet the average Americans on hand -- the not-politically connected without the right media or VIP pass -- did not yield to circumstance and the elements. They showed up. They made their voices heard -- at least by the 25,000 security guards on duty around the city.