Siege of the Capitol

Ephraim Boamah

Anxiously, a nation on edge awaited a needed transformation to escape from the harsh realities of the past. A week before the inauguration of President Biden, Capitol Hill was attacked. The siege tested the fragility of democracy, but it failed.

Anxiously, a nation on edge awaited a needed transformation to escape from the harsh realities of the past. A week before the inauguration of President Biden, Capitol Hill was attacked. The siege tested the fragility of democracy, but it failed.

Despite its fiasco, the attack brought awakened America as confederate flags were flown on the stairs of the Capitol, an unprecedented act in the tumultuous and racist history of America. Desperate and overwhelmed, the country found itself living a nightmare. Images of the bare streets of Washington D.C flooded with national guards highlighted the stakes, a fight for the soul of America.

A week later on those same stairs, the Biden/Harris inauguration will become one of the most pivotal inaugural ceremonies in the country. To see the significance of such a moment, one must travel back to 1861 during the inauguration of President Lincoln. After a brutal civil war that had claimed many American lives, America was left in shambles. The war left deep wounds, pitting the North against the South, abolitionists against anti-abolitionists, federal rights against state rights. Indeed, America was in disarray. But on the day of his inauguration, Lincoln painted a new future, a promising time where a troubled nation will once again find its strength to move forward, to look past its evils of the past, and to not forget them but to learn from it.

That week before the Biden/Harris inauguration, the country did not witness a civil war, but she was rudely awakened to the war brewing in the heart of her land, tensions stretching beyond the previous administration but whose actions, policies, and rhetoric catalyzed this reaction.

In his address, President Biden highlighted the importance of reviving the country after racial turmoils and an attack on democracy. Vehemently, President Biden addressed the issues that have been tormenting the country, but he did it in a manner to unite the country, to bring hope to people, to show what America can be, to show she can thrive with all the racial, ethnic, and cultural differences but not despite them. He understood the stakes, a battle for the soul of America.

The day also marked a new milestone for womankind. Kamala Harris was sworn in as the United States’ first female vice-president whose husband consequently became the first second gentleman. Their roles have bucked social norms attached to the office of the vice presidency. A woman of African and South Asian descent, Vice-President Kamala’s achievement has paved the way for girls of color to see themselves living the full promise of America. The first lady, Dr. Jill Biden also shook the grounds of the White House by being the first lady to host a full-time job by continuing her vocation as an English professor.

From Jennifer Lopez’s performance to Amanda Gorman’s stunning poetry, the Biden/Harris inauguration also became a platform to celebrate the diversity of America. A national youth poet, Gorman captivated millions of Americans’ hearts with her inducing words filled with hope and promise. Her words reminded the people that the purpose of this nation is to create a more perfect nation and to understand that we must always strive to be better.

The Winchendon School