This afternoon the silence that floods the militarized center of Washington was broken. Nurse Lori Marie Key sang the gospel hymn Amazing grace at the act to commemorate those killed by the coronavirus, which this Tuesday have exceeded 400,000 in the United States. The ceremony organized by the inauguration committee of President-elect Joe Biden has taken place in the heart of the National Mall and has set the tone with which the future Administration will address the pandemic, in contrast to the Government of Donald Trump. “The only way to heal is by remembering. Sometimes it is hard to remember, but this is how we heal. It is important that we do it as a nation ”, said the future Democratic president in the brief ceremony.
Nearly 200,000 flags are placed between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument to represent the tens of thousands of Americans who will not be able to attend the inauguration this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and threats of possible attacks. The artistic display set up in the gardens of the reflecting pool has been illuminated by 56 “pillars of light” that symbolize the 50 States and territories of the country. “For many months we have mourned alone, but now the country is united. We are not together physically, but we are together in spirit ”, said future Vice President Kamala Harris at the ceremony without an audience broadcast by streaming.
Cardinal Wilton Gregory highlighted the grievance of those who have lost someone and have not been able to see them off with a funeral: “This afternoon we make this little expression to give you comfort.” In addition to the songs that returned the soul to a muted city center, the funeral bells of the National Cathedral, atop the capital, sounded 400 times, each representing 1,000 victims of covid-19, a black figure that puts the world power at the head of the country most affected by the virus. For reference, 405,399 perished in World War II, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In the midst of a pandemic, when hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer the loss of family and friends, “it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the most difficult periods in the nation’s history, and let us renew our commitment to unite to end the pandemic and rebuild our country, “said Pili Tobar, spokesman for the Inauguration Committee of the future president.
When Biden swears in as the 46th president of the United States on the steps of the Capitol – assaulted two weeks ago by a mob of Donald Trump supporters – he will not see an agglomeration of people as is the custom. Instead, the Democrat will have in front of him a huge American flag displayed in the place where citizens have usually gathered for inaugurations for decades. In the distance the artistic montage in honor of the victims of the covid-19 will be glimpsed. When the investiture is over, there will be no parade down Constitución Avenue, no inaugural dance, and no food at the Capitol, all traditions suspended by the pandemic.
Subscribe here to newsletter about elections in the United States