64 years ago today my grandparents had their first date. They both met working for the government in Washington D.C. On the day of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 2nd Inauguration they went to dinner and a movie and drove around D.C.. Things were different back then. Some things were better, some things were worse. My grandmother, who grew up in D.C. remembers Inauguration Day being a special and joyous occasion. Regardless of whether you supported the incoming President or not, it was a special day that is was uniquely American. It showed how our Democratic Republic worked and how a smooth transition of leadership was possible. It showed that the ideas of our founding fathers were still prevailing.
Now, on Inauguration Day 2021 things are a bit different. Instead of parades, crowds of people, celebrations, and the American spirit, the city is more or less on lock down. Temporary walls, barricades, and fences are in place. Thousands of troops are standing guard. Crowds are at a very low number. All of this is due to a terrorist attack on the US Capitol several weeks ago by a mob of angry and violent people. In attempts to disregard the Constitution and enforce mob rule, they stormed the Capitol in attempts to disrupt the American election process. This attack led to 5 people dying and many more injured.
Because of these un-American and un-patriotic terrorists, people cannot enjoy the joyous festivities of what is a uniquely American event.
Personally I was not a fan of the previous president and I am not a fan of the new president. I fundamentally disagree with many of their views. But as an American, as someone whose ancestors signed both the Declaration and Constitution, I see the beauty in what this day is and the bittersweetness of what Inauguration Day 2021 looks like.
I hope the next Inauguration Day looks more like what my grandparents remembered from their first date.