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  • Betty Girardeau

There Is Strength In Words

Updated: Jan 22


I did watch all of the inauguration yesterday. Like much of what has happened in the last year, it was unlike any others that I have watched since the first one, Dwight Eisenhower's in 1953. I certainly never would have imagined one where all the players wore masks and had to be socially distanced. There were no cheering crowds. But there was a protective army of soldiers and police. How did this happen? Most of us know answers to this question. But one thing that was not different about this event were the words that were spoken, pledges to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States, an address by the President to let the citizens know that he understands the concerns and needs of the country he has been chosen to lead, and the uplifting words of patriotic and sacred songs. And this year once again there was an inaugural poem. There have only been six of them in all. Each of them, starting with Robert Frost's at John Kennedy's inauguration in 1961, have usually been read near the end of the ceremony. All have been uplifting in their words. Given our current unsettled times, Amanda Gorman's yesterday was amazing in its breadth and depth of meaning. It wasn't enough for me to just hear her read it. I had to read it for myself last night. Her final sentence really spoke to me and reminded me of this image that I captured in the fall of 2012 during my very first photo workshop. " 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."

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