On this day, January 20, 2021, I celebrate with all friends, all citizens—here and abroad. Today, is a day of hope, the hour to take the first step on the arduous road to national healing—a march President Joe Biden has sworn to lead.
In the heart of his inauguration speech, Biden recalled Abraham Lincoln’s words upon signing the Emancipation Proclamation: “If my name ever goes down into history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.”
“My whole soul is in it,” Biden repeated. “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the foes we face, anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.”
For me—only one humble citizen in a family of 331 million—my whole soul is in that vision, to unify a broken nation yearning to be whole.
Again, President Biden said it beautifully in his inauguration address: “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.”
And then again at the end of his speech:
“May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch, but thrived, that America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forebears, one another, and generations to follow.”
That’s a star I’m willing to follow with my whole soul.