I want to quote a line from the inauguration poem “The Hill We Climb” written and recited so eloquently by the amazing first National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, who urged us to rise to meet the occasion with the words “We do not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour; but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.”
Her powerful words acknowledged and embodied the pain, anger, disappointment, and loss that we all felt not only over the past year but the past four years. They serve to uplift and inspire us that a change is coming. We can look to our youth and their passion and belief in creating a better place for themselves and others in this country and in the world. We can also take these words and look within because we need to find hope and laughter in ourselves for without these things we cannot move forward. We cannot rise up and encourage others to rise up by just standing on the shoulders of those who came before us. We need to extend our hands not in anger but in friendship to help bring others along. The journey continues not only for our country but for each and every one of us individually. Let us make it a journey we can be proud of and a road filled with kindness, pride, and respect.