By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine
It is Wednesday January 20, 2021. President Joe Biden has just taken the oath of office. He sees the thousands of guards milling around in Pennsylvania Avenue, and the tall fences. It is so different from the last time he was there with Mr. Obama. President Biden looks at his family, and the guests.The choppy blades of a helicopter could be heard faintly in the distance. The President takes a sip of water, clears his throat, and begins his inaugural speech.
President Biden’s Inaugural Speech:
Fellow Americans. The long nightmare is over. Our country has been through some rough times, our democracy has been tested, we are in the midst of a pandemic, but Americans can breathe again, assured of the fact that our Constitution, and the rule of law, have prevailed. Over the past days, we watched with horror how the foundation of our democracy was undermined by bigotry and extremism. We must never let that happen again. We are not a country of walls and fences. We must do everything to enjoy the fresh air of freedom, that is the dream of our founders.
I stand before you today as President of all America, whether you voted for me, or not. I will be a President that will work to heal, and to bring our country together. I know that the days ahead will not be easy, but if we put aside our differences, if we see ourselves as Americans first, we can reach the mountaintop.
My journey here, is in many ways, yours as well. I come from humble origins. I am that kid from Scranton that worked hard to reach the promise that America offered. I was lucky to represent Delaware, and when things became tough, I remembered my mother’s creed: ‘No one is better than you. You are everyone’s equal and everyone is equal to you.’ My mother Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden taught us to carry honor and loyalty, and that whenever we were down, we should get up. I was taught to treasure family. I am proud of Beau. I wish he was here today. I am also proud of my son Hunter, daughter Ashley, and my wife Jill, who has taught by example.
We face many challenges. The pandemic rages on and too many Americans are dying. We must act. Starting today, I will issue instructions for all vaccines to be given out, and yes, I am asking for Americans to mask up for the next 100 days. I realize that families need help, and that is why my stimulus package seeks to bring relief to those that are struggling. I trust that we will have the support of my Republican friends so we can help families, and the business community.
Our world cries out for leadership. America, that shining city on the hill, must continue to be seen as a country that stands for democracy. We respect the rights of other nations to conduct their own affairs but we must work together to further the ideals of peace and justice. In times of uncertainty, we turn to some of our greatest states-persons for guidance, from Abraham Lincoln who wanted a union of states, Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, who asked us to do more for our country, Ronald Reagan who said that life and liberty is part of the American Dream, and of course to my friend, Barack Obama, who asks that we dust ourselves to reshape and remake America.
Two days ago, we observed the anniversary of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King. He told us that the time is always right to do what is right. And so, my fellow Americans, I say to you that the time is right to respect our African-American brothers and sisters, to have an immigration policy that is fair, and is based on merit, and keep families together. The time is right to make our country safe and to eradicate hate. I ask all Americans, whatever your color or creed, to join hands to build our beautiful country.
The time is right to tackle climate change, to make available health care for all Americans, whether you could afford it or not. The time is right to provide jobs for Americans, whether you live on the North side or the South side. You know, the greatness in America lies in our diversity, the welcoming lamp that has lit so many lives. Today, we celebrate the appointment as Vice-President, the daughter of immigrants, Kamala Harris, who is the first woman to hold this position. This is historic, and I know that she will do a great job.
And so, my fellow Americans, we are on the threshold of a monumental change that is limited only by our imagination. We will have differences but when I look at my grandchildren, and yours, I know that our greatest strength lies in working together. We can reach the mountaintop, and back, when we, the people, put America first. Today, we have reclaimed our democracy. The transition of power shows that our system works. We, the people, have triumphed. Long live the United States of America. God bless you all and God bless the United States.
The views expressed in these articles are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the THE WEST INDIAN.