By: Munazza Khan – Assistant Editor
The year 2021 started with a bang, literally, for the citizens of America. On the evening of January 20th, the D.C. sky and Washington Monument was lit up with a beautiful display of fireworks in honour of Joe Biden becoming President. It was definitely a memorable day in more than one way. The inauguration of a new President is usually a day that follows decades of traditions, but not this time! Just like all other events these days, Inauguration day was also watched virtually by all. As the world continues to battle the deadly CoronaVirus, crowds gathering to watch and celebrate the swearing-in of the new President were banned from coming into DC. A field of illuminating flags replaced the millions of people who would have otherwise occupied that site. At noon, Joseph R. Biden Jr. became the 46th President of the United States of America. He defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 campaign and became the oldest President to serve the nation at 78 years old. It was a much awaited moment of his life, having tried out his luck running for President two times prior to this and serving as VP to Barack Obama previously. Despite many obstacles in his life, politics and the importance of bringing about change has always been an important part of his life. Biden’s speech was a call for unity to heal the wounds that had become exacerbated in the election and had played out in the attempted insurrection on Capitol Hill at the start of the month. “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 rebuild work, we can rebuild the middle class and make work secure, we can secure racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.” Beside Joe Biden, donning purple and pearls, Kamala Harris was making history and stealing the show as the first woman and woman of colour elected as the Vice President of the United States of America, a milestone for a nation in upheaval, grappling with a damaging history of racial injustice exposed, yet again, in a divisive election! “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” said the daughter of a Jamaican father and Indian mother. The other shining star on the steps of Capitol Hill that day was Amanda Gorman, who at 22 years of age became the youngest ever inaugural poet in the history of the US. With her poem “The Hill we climb,” she captivated audiences worldwide through her powerful and poignant rhythmic words:
“The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it. Making history is only the first step for the President and Vice President, they are now yet to face the monumental task of repairing a fractured America. The fact that it was such a close election and Trump supporters are still manyfold shows that the task at hand is not easy and we are yet to discover whether or not the new President will be able to bring a real change while in office. With a divided cabinet, how much will he be able to achieve legislatively? Biden was however eager to revoke many of Trump’s laws on his first day in office, the most welcome one being the ban of immigrants from some Muslim majority countries and rejoining the Paris climate agreement. As for Donald Trump, it is unlikely that he will fade away quietly, having enjoyed his 4 years in the limelight. His parting words were that he ‘will be back in some form’. Only time will tell how this will play out. As a man of great entrances and theatrics, one thing is certain, the Trump chapter of American history is far from over.