WIRE – During his moving inauguration speech on Wednesday, President Joe Biden called for unity, declaring his hope to restore America as it existed before Trump. “We have learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile, and at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed,” Biden said. “Our better angels have always prevailed,” he added, going on to speak about his intentions to fight the pandemic and attacks on the truth.
Biden takes office just two weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attack that ended with four rioters and a Capitol Police officer dead. Trump refused to congratulate Biden and flew to Florida Wednesday morning instead of attending Biden’s inauguration, making him one of only a handful of presidents not to attend their successor’s Inauguration Day festivities.
Joe Biden’s inauguration as president of the United States on Wednesday was marked with a stirring poem. Amanda Gorman, 23, read her work “The Hill We Climb” to usher in the new presidency. “While democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated,” Gorman’s poem read in part. “In this truth, in this faith, we trust. For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.” The Harvard grad reportedly finished the work in the hours after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
Gorman, a Black woman and a native of Los Angeles, has one thing in common with President Biden; according to NPR, she also had a speech impediment growing up, which she said helped draw her to poetry. “Having an arena in which I could express my thoughts freely was just so liberating that I fell head over heels, you know, when I was barely a toddler,” she told NPR. She joins Robert Frost (Kennedy) and Maya Angelou (Clinton) on the short list of poets to perform at a presidential inauguration.