There are only a few sentences and a long pause. But the impressive moment of silence seems to mark a turning point. On the eve of being sworn in, Joe Biden landed in Washington and drove straight from Andrews Air Force Base to the National Mall. The mile-long boardwalk through Washington is hermetically sealed due to the right-wing terrorist threat.
But it is precisely the emptiness that the moment of commemoration for the 400,000 Covid deaths in the US unfolds an impressive intensity. The sun has set at a perfect television moment just behind the Lincoln Memorial. Biden and his wife Jill stand in front of the marble building with future Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, looking across the Reflecting Pools towards the Capitol. “To heal, we must remember,” says Biden, with 400 light stelae suddenly shining along the water: “Let’s remember all we lost.” Then he is silent. It is the first official memorial for the victims of the pandemic, which has been raging uncontrolled in America for ten months, unlike in almost no other country.
Biden consciously chose this performance as his first date in Washington. The reconciliation of the country ravaged by the pandemic, an economic crisis and four years of extreme polarization has been his topic for a long time and has since been central to the speech after the noon inauguration. Personal compassion and compassion are the hallmarks of the man who lost his first wife and daughter in a road accident and, decades later, had to say goodbye to his favorite son, who had a brain tumor. While at the start of Donald Trump’s presidency bragging about the number of visitors to the National Mall, the desolation of the open space marks the beginning of Biden’s tenure.
In fact, Biden wanted to take the train to Washington from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, just as he always did in the 36 years of his time as (initially single) father and senator. But after the Trump mob’s bloody attack on the Capitol and new terror warnings, the hour and a half train ride seemed too dangerous. So the 78-year-old got on a plane with his wife – not, as usual on such occasions, on a government plane, but on a charter plane. The old government had not made any official means of transport available to him.
Donald Trump looks pathetic and bitter in this situation. Even in his latest video message, he remains true to himself. He praises his alleged accomplishments for nearly twenty minutes, then wringing some good wishes for the “next government”, which needs “luck above all”. He never mentions the name Biden. Wednesday morning, he wants to treat himself to another military ceremony before leaving Washington for his new home in Palm Beach, Florida. Neither Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, nor ever-loyal Vice President Mike Pence want to attend the bizarre event. Unlike Trump, they are attending Biden’s inauguration on the west side of the Capitol.
While Trump was only interested in a person named Donald, his successor is a true fisherman of those with a sometimes irritating overabundance of empathy. When the conversation is about his dead son Beau, he cannot hold back his tears: “I only have one regret,” he says, “That he is not there. Because we have to introduce him as president. ”
Now he has become Joe Biden’s father. More composed, but no less emotional, he took office as President of the United States of America on this historic day at noon with a call for unity and reconciliation. The 78-year-old said during the solemn ceremony in front of the Capitol that without unity there could be no peace and no progress, only bitterness and anger. He will work with all his heart for unity and reconciliation. “With unity we can do great things, important things,” said Biden. ‘This is our moment in history. And unity is the way forward. ‘ Biden implored the Americans that the country had also overcome the challenges of the past with unity. “Let’s start over,” he said, calling for everyone to listen. “I’ll be the president of all Americans,” Biden promised. He will fight for those who did not support him as much as for those who did. “This is the day of democracy.” It is not a candidate’s victory that is being celebrated, but the victory of democracy. “Democracy has triumphed.” With dpa