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Four Amazing Things

Joe Biden inauguration

What a day! How are you all doing? Just before noon, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States and IT FELT SO GOOD!

Kamala Harris inauguration

Kamala Harris was officially sworn in as the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president; and Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court justice, administered the vice-presidential oath. What a moment.

Did you see 22-year-old inaugural poet Amanda Gorman? She recited her beautiful poem “The Hill We Climb,” which began:

When day comes, we ask ourselves:
Where can we find light
In this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.
We braved the belly of the beast,
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,
And the norms and notions of what ‘just is’
Isn’t always justice.
And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it,
Somehow, we do it.
Somehow, we’ve weathered and witnessed
A nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country and a time
where a skinny Black girl, descended from slaves
and raised by a single mother,
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one.

Her delivery was incredible — her graceful hands, her stirring pacing. Michelle Obama wrote on Instagram: “Keep shining, Amanda! I can’t wait to see what you do next. 💕 #BlackGirlMagic”

Michelle Obama 2021

Speaking of… MICHELLE!!! I always feel so calm when she’s in the room. (And what a look!) On Instagram, she wrote: “Right now, I’m feeling more than just relief at putting the past four years behind us. I’m feeling genuinely hopeful for what’s to come.”

How are you feeling today? I’m full of emotions and knowledge that there’s so much work to do. On that note, we will be matching donations up to $1500 to the NAACP, whose goal is to push Biden’s administration to “create a Cabinet-level position focused on Racial Justice.” (Simply forward your donation receipts to hello at cupofjo dot com.) Thank you so much, and sending the biggest hugs your way. Update: Cup of Jo readers donated more than $1500, and we matched those donations! Thank you!!!

xoxoxoxo Let’s talk below.

  1. jilly says...

    as soon as i saw michelle obama get out of the limousine to go into the Capitol, i started crying.

  2. Jess says...

    Brought this emotionally repressed Englishwoman to tears! Don’t tell Her Maj ;)

    • Emma says...

      Oh I agree with you, I had tears all day just falling down my face off and on, I am thrilled for my new president and his vice-president whom are decent, compassionate loving people who want to help my country. By the way, I am a huge fan of HM for a very long time, Biden has shown that part of his character is just like HM, their *faith* gets them through all the ups and downs of life. Biden and HM have a very calming presence about themselves that is needed in this world today.

  3. Ramya says...

    It was an incredible day and moment. My 7-year old son and I watched together, and he sent a letter to President Biden (I love being able to write that!) with some words of advice ;-). I’m also adoring the daily press briefings – so normal, professional and collegial! With phrases like “based on the recommendations of economists and health experts…” etc. It literally makes me giddy!

  4. S says...

    Congratulations from Norway! Even MY kids are happy for you <3

  5. L says...

    Thank goodness reason and humanity is back in the White House.

    If only we had some possibility of change of government here in the UK where the lying and mismanagement continues as we see corona virus deaths soar because of our governments refusal to act quicker and our environment standards falling because of a Brexit that we were promised would be ‘green’ :(

  6. Adele says...

    Feeling the joy of the new President and Vice President after so many tumultuous weeks after the election (and months throughout this pandemic- and years with the previous administration)… but I also had a great aunt die of covid Wednesday evening. I can’t describe how bittersweet the day felt. Seeing the immediate actions the Biden administration is taking. Wondering how many lives would have been saved if someone had been taking it that serious since last year. I wish the day could have been pure joy. Feeling these words from Clint Smith:

    When people say we have made it through worse before
    All I hear is the wind slapping
    against the gravestones
    of those who did not make it,
    those who did not survive
    to see the confetti fall
    from the sky, those who
    did not live to watch the
    parade roll down the street.

  7. AMK says...

    In addition to all what has been written and felt, I was incredibly moved to witness VICE PRESIDENT Kamala Harris sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was rocking her amazing and natural curls!!! As a Latina, we have it baked in our culture to iron out our hair. I have worn my hair naturally and curly for over five years now and it is soo sooo soo empowering to witness! It’s a small thing but it’s really a big thing. So proud and so many amazing milestones yesterday and beyond 💕💕💕💕👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

    • Emie says...

      I am brought to tears by your comment… not because it’s sad but because you feel free to be you! What you speak of as “a small thing” really is a HUGE thing…. and that is the freedom to be the person you are… no permission, no apologies and no explanation needed. If I was in a position to grant wishes it would be to grant to each person the ability to feel comfortable being themselves with no judgement from anyone.

    • La says...

      So interesting, I didn’t know that! yes all those little things mean a lot.

    • AMK says...

      Thank you Emie! Ahh what an amazing wish that would be! The world would be a better place if everyone was free to be themselves! Thank you and LA for sharing this moment and your words with me 🥰

  8. Tami says...

    My 8 y/o son and I watched the inauguration together. I kept him home from school so that we could raise our little American flags in our living room and take in this wonderful, historical moment.
    I’ll never forget who I was with and where I was when the world changed and became a much brighter place to be.

  9. Rae says...

    JOY!!! Rejoining the Paris Climate Accords. Halting the Keystone Pipeline. A leader who sees his faith as a call to serve, rather than as a route to power and riches. Kamala Harris!!!!!!

  10. Cece says...

    aside from my overwhelming joy for a new administration, i couldn’t stop crying yesterday about WOMENNNNN and representation!!! the women on that stage were all so epic. i’m still not over it today!!!! <3

  11. Sunny says...

    Germany here: BIG relief, tears of joy, great agreement that the world will be a better place with Biden/ Harris in the White House. (Fun fact: in Germany, Obama won the category „Person with whom one would prefer to be on a lonely Island“ – recently!)
    BUT we still dont get the 70+ millions who voted for Trump AGAIN, which is even more than in 2016.
    Is it because most people vote for a political party not for a person?
    Can anybody help?

    • Rae says...

      Sunny, yes, now more than ever political party has become a part of identity — especially for those on the right and those who are evangelical Christians. Many people would never vote for a Democrat. My relatives who fall into this camp did in some cases vote for Biden this time. Some opted not to vote. And I suspect some lie to me and tell me they didn’t vote but voted for Trump. For those living within conservative (Republican) bubbles the message is that the Democrats will destroy America, open the borders, and are waging a war on Christianity. It is very hard to break through this mindset because our media is so fractured. They hear this message from Fox News, on the radio, at church, and from their friends and neighbors.
      I now live in a very liberal bubble and know many folks who would never dream of voting for a Republican and some don’t even know Trump supporters personally.

    • Sunny says...

      Thank you so much, Rae! I really appreciate these insights you gave me!

      The newspapers here praised Amanda Gorman, for the obvious reasons. But they also paid tribute to Garth Brooks, who is unknown here in Europe, for his efforts to unify by taking a personal risk with his performance (he reportedly was threatened promptly).

    • Court says...

      Rae,
      Well said! I tried to answer this question myself yesterday but was at a loss for words…

  12. Katie says...

    I would like to add to the good news from yesterday- U.S. Capitol Police Officer (and D.C. native) Eugene Goodman, who was alone, in uniform, facing a group of insurrectionists and who was able to lead rioters away from the Senate Chamber on January 6th, escorted VP Harris during the Inauguration Ceremony yesterday. Officer Goodman is a hero.

    • Susan Young says...

      Yes!!!

    • Emie says...

      I’m so glad they found a way to honor the bravery of Officer Goodman during the inauguration. Escorting VP Harris was the perfect way to do just that.

  13. Molly says...

    Amazing!!!!! Happy day! We watched the inauguration with our 2 boys, ages 10 and 13 (tomorrow), and do you know what they commented on? President Biden’s tone and words. My older son said that his body felt tense when he would hear our old president speak. That he often mocked people and his words were “mean and hateful”. Words matter. Our kids are watching. A decent man is our President and a woman is his VP. THIS is what I want them to see. And Amanda Gorman is a ROCKSTAR!

    • Lisa says...

      ALL OF THIS. YES, 100%. A new day is here and I’m so proud and happy for my 5 and 8 year old sons. Amanda Gorman is AMAZING!!!!!! WORDS MATTER!!!!!!!!! Ah, I think I’m going to start crying AGAIN!!!!

  14. varina says...

    Even as someone who follows policy closely, who urged others to get involved (including here – thank you Joanna!), who has seen the repercussions of the Trump administration not only in my day job but in my personal life…I underestimated how meaningful yesterday would be.

    Hearing the words “Madam Vice President” for the first time, listening to Amanda Gorman’s truly electrifying poem, watching Joe and Jill Biden hug before entering the White House – I was overcome. But perhaps the moment I will remember best is hearing the fireworks at the end of the inaugural concert yesterday. They felt like a gift to DC’s citizens. In a city where 92% of us voted for the President and Vice President (!), who have had fences and troops installed in our streets and our parks, who do not have a voting representative in Congress, whose “real” American status was questioned even after the terrorists left our neighborhoods, the fireworks called all of my neighbors to the street last night so we could listen in the cold and scream out our joy.

    We have so much work to do – but that moment will propel us.

    • Jill says...

      This gave me chills Varina. Thank you!

  15. Grace says...

    The way I feel today has just put into sharp perspective just how bad every day of the last four years has been. I’m relieved, overjoyed, hopeful. And I’m filled with grief and bitterness at everything that has been taken away from us since 2016.

    I’m going to keep fighting for racial justice, healthcare, and climate action. But I’m realizing that I will also need to devote time to myself, repairing what’s been damaged by 4 years of stress and fear and rage and grief. At least I will finally have the mental space and energy to do that work.

  16. Caitlin says...

    I also finished Ted Lasso yesterday so it was a real feelings-filled day for me!

  17. Katey says...

    I love reading these comments. I agree with so much and I also see in new ways.

    A striking thing about yesterday’s ceremony was Biden’s invocation of a moment of silence for the 400,000 human beings who’ve died of COVID in America. The last administration just would not/could not face the terrible facts about this virus. President Biden allowed us to mourn and honor the losses we’ve sustained. It was a vital step on the path through the pandemic. I am so glad to have a leader with a big heart, unafraid of humanity’s sorrow.

  18. Sasha L says...

    So many things running through my head. Relief. Joy. Anxiety about the very long road ahead.

    Tears as I read through these comments and realize this feels like a safe(r) space again. I just don’t want to hear any more justifications/conspiracies/whataboutisms/minimizing/flat out racism. Tears as I read the comments from readers outside of the US, their joy for our country, their relief too.

    So proud of everyone at the inauguration yesterday, I just cried through the whole thing. May this be our turning point. May we finally finish the long overdue work so long passed down. May we overcome so many obstacles before us. And may we all survive this long and deadly winter. Love and healing for all of those grieving lost loved ones.

    Finally, I’m a white woman born, raised and living on stolen native lands (Apsáalooke, Aaniiih, Niitsitapi and others) . May we all please raise up native voices and struggles so that they are given the same consideration as others. No mention of native peoples yesterday. No mention that the ceremony was happening on stolen lands. No mention of those displaced and murdered. No mention that covid is hitting native peoples so very hard. No mention that it was the Diné (Navajo) nation that delivered Arizona to Biden and Harris. No mention of the thousands of missing and murdered native sisters across Indian country. I saw a lot of sadness, anger and heartache on the native social media accounts I follow, and I think it was justified. Stopping the XL pipeline yesterday was a huge step forward and such a hopeful act of good faith that there will be more recognition to come. Let’s please remember who fought to stop it, and that we all benefit from the clean water that will be preserved because native sisters and brothers put their very lives on the line to protest it for many years.

    • Agnès says...

      That was such a beautiful comment sacha!

  19. Annie says...

    I am a Brit across the pond but the mother of an American. our youngest son was born when we lived with you. I watched and wept yesterday and then texted my young American and said ‘the good guy man won’. Grace, dignity, honesty and good manners now reside in the White House in President Biden. To make the day even more emotional Vice President is a woman and a woman of colour. Bloody Marvellous! There is much to do and much to heal but I have hope and faith in Biden and Harris. Two pairs of safe hands to bring America back to the world.

    • martini says...

      Annie, 71 yr. old life-long D.C. resident here. Thank you for your comments and I totally agree, but I’m amazed so many cried as much as I did! I wasn’t alone after all!

      May I add more descriptive words to yours?
      Decency
      Respectability
      Courtesy
      Civility
      Fairness

  20. M says...

    (Amanda Gorman!!! I love you!!!) Still reflecting on yesterday, wrote a poem this morning to process it all. Resilient hope, radical imagination. Sinking my teeth into them. Licking my fingers. Hungry for more.

    A WINTER HARVEST
    For a long time, we kept on- just good enough. Hungry for more, but trying to stay satisfied with our silver linings.
    Every dawning day we waited, tended, prepared for the fruits. Some called us ignorant at worst, naive at best, as they pointed to the dropping leaves.
    The sun kept swinging low. The clouds stayed cold and gray. The trees became bare. Yet we clung to our hope. What else could we do?
    Our hope that someday, some very fine day, we would be one of the lucky ones at the harvest.
    And that we would wake up and the fruits of the earth, all across the land- the peaches of Georgia, the cherries of Michigan, the apples of New York, the apricots of California- would return to us in the same way that we would return to each other:
    raw, bruised, tender,
    yet sweeter than we ever thought we could be.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this is amazing, M!

    • Wow, love this so much! Thanks for sharing!

    • Tovah says...

      Oh WOW. This is so so beautiful!!

    • Kristina says...

      Wow! Thank you!

    • Diane says...

      this made me cry. wow.

  21. Andrea says...

    I am so relieved to have a functioning executive branch.

    I realized today that Trump was playing reverse Undercover Boss for the past four years. He was someone with no skill or interest who snuck into the role and nearly ruined the company.

  22. Liz Ryan says...

    Yes! Thank you for using your platform to amplify the call for donations. Miss you all.

  23. The comments here from global neighbors are as meaningful to me as the inauguration! I am so thankful for support and love from people all over the world. Thank you for not giving up on the U.S.

  24. Amy says...

    It was a good day! So many amazing things. I’m a little bit in love with the Biden grandchildren! And Kamala’s grand nieces. They are little stars!

  25. DC says...

    It was a beautiful day and like all of you I feel lighter in spirit today, a weight has been lifted. Happy New Year!

  26. Court says...

    I’m a nurse at a hospital (that is currently operating at 140% capacity) and I fought back tears all day at work yesterday. It’s such a relief to feel like I’m no longer fighting a war on 2 fronts: a deadly disease AND ineffective leadership. I completely lost it when I heard Jen Psaki talk about creating the role of Covid Response Coordinator. Yes! Get vaccines in arms! Let’s keep more people from dying! Never again will I take for granted the role the federal government plays in public health.

    • Sasha L says...

      Big hugs♥️ Agree so much. We all took A LOT for granted.

    • Court says...

      Thank you, Sasha! Hugs to you as well!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for the work you do, court xoxo

    • Court says...

      Thank you guys <3 And yes, Bobby, the contrast between the two cannot be overstated!

  27. Suse says...

    This was all made possible by the support staff (from the Capitol Architects’ Office), the custodians, and tradesmen and women who only had two weeks to clean and repair the magnificent building from that horrible siege. They laid the carpeting, hung the drapes and bunting, set up the chairs, and set up the A/V. I am so honored to know several of them who do the work with pride of country.

    • Joaquina says...

      Thank you for pointing this out. I am indeed grateful for their hard work, behind the scenes and out of the spotlights, to pull this important ceremony off!

    • Tovah says...

      Hear, hear.

      I was also amazed to read about the top-to-bottom White House cleaning, refurbishment, unpacking etc. that those staffs undertook yesterday in just five hours. Given the laxness of 45’s safety protocols I can only imagine there was a LOT to clean up.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes, really incredible and deserving of praise and thanks.

    • florence says...

      Yes, 100%! They do so much without praise or acknowledgement behind the scenes. Please pass on our heartfelt thanks for all their hardwork and care.

  28. Sarz says...

    Canadian here. I’d sorta forgotten to watch the inauguration – crazy, I know – but then this gorgeous girl in yellow caught my attention on my Insta feed. “Who is she?!”, I had to know. One happy internet research session layer, I ended up happily watching the whole damn thing. 😭 Everything is going to be alright, isn’t it?

    • Anna says...

      Thanks for your comment Sarz. It brought me to tears again. I am moved and humbled by the support from humans all over our world.

  29. lorraine says...

    i’m overcome with joy, relief and also shock. it is hard to fathom that as a country we’ve survived these past 4 years with a president that not only lacked empathy but also blanketed the country with his tone of hate and division. the events of today – celebrating a new president, him speaking of leading this country out of the crises, seeing our first female POC vice president, shining a light on the future via a young, talented artist as Amanda – this is both progress and also just plain reality of where the world is now. so feeling that reality and humanity return to the light is both stunning and rejuvenating.

  30. Courtney says...

    Thank you for posting this! I was so grateful, proud, humbled, moved to tears.
    Despite the times, it felt normal and full of reverence.
    I am full of joy and still beaming today!
    2021 is looking better already!

  31. Em says...

    My husband remained dry-eyed through our wedding and the birth of both our daughters; I have often wondered if I’d ever see him cry. How powerful it was to see him weeping to the incredible words of Amanda Gorman. So fucking magical indeed is she.

  32. LJ says...

    I thought J Lo’s passionate declaration in Spanish as she concluded her performance was phenomenal. I felt so energized, so stirred…

    Una nación, bajo Dios, indivisible, con libertad y justicia para todos!

    • Anna says...

      And “Let’s get Loud!” This time in victory.

  33. Kari T. says...

    Ok, just had to come here and say I see now why the whole televised inauguration was so important (I was a confused Canadian before). This was beautiful and injected that spark of hope needed to start the flame for big changes in the future. Like others have said, so proud of you America!

  34. Helga Thomsen says...

    Everything and everyone was so dignified and gracious. The day seemed extraordinary and yet normal. The normal part may have been what I loved the most. I watched the press briefing last night to enjoy the civility and Jen Psaki ended it saying ‘Let’s do this again tomorrow.’ Normal but extraordinary.
    I also have to say that this Californian was thrilled to watch two daughters of California make history yesterday. Kamala and Amanda – you make us hella proud.

  35. Libbie@alifeunfolding says...

    Such a beautiful beginning. I am hopeful for the first time it what feels like forever!

  36. Jade says...

    Here in Australia I stayed up late with cheap champagne to watch your day unfold. I was just so incredibly proud of and excited for America and Americans today. What a moment in History. What an incredible reminder of the power, potential and responsibility we all have to propel positive change as far forward as we possibly can. Sending so much excited love and positivity to you all today! Also the Coats were spectacular!

  37. Sally says...

    I’m not an American, but, for the first time in my entire life, I watched the whole ceremony with tears in my eyes.
    I was alone in my living room, yet when Kamala and Joe finished their oaths, I gave them both a clap and a whoop!

    And I watched Joe’s daughter as she looked at her dad reciting the oath. She couldn’t have looked any prouder, and I was so happy for her as well!

    • Angela says...

      So much love on the faces of those who love Joe and Kamala! It was magical and spiritual and exhilarating to see such dignity back in command.

  38. Andrea Coffelt says...

    As others have said in the comments, it feels so good to be able to openly share my support of our new administration without getting attacked. I was a pile of emotions yesterday but for the FIRST time in four years I feel hope and a sense of calm and peace. I felt bad that President Biden and Vice President Harris couldn’t have all the pomp and circumstance, the crowds, the ball etc. However, I feel the gentle and sacred inauguration we witnessed was just what this country needed. The grace, the reverence, the Poet. Wow. So very proud.

  39. Lisa says...

    I’m not American, but I first felt my stress levels starting to go down when trump was banned from Twitter (and apparently misinformation on social media went down 73% after he was kicked off).
    Yesterday I was just waiting for the moment it was confirmed that he had left the WH and when it happened, I felt myself relax anymore. I think it’s the constant tirades (and I tried to avoid him as much as humanly possible), the instability and constant menace was just felt everywhere. I can’t begin to imagine how the last four years have felt for African American and Latinx, the LGBTQIA communities in the USA.

  40. Elizabeth says...

    VP Harris is actually noted for being the first female, Black, and Asian American (or South Asian American) vice president, and not the first female, first Black and first “South Asian” vice president. She is of South Asian origin on her mother’s side, but she’s South Asian American, or Asian American.

    Accurate representation matters!

  41. Agnès says...

    What a beautiful ceremony! The intimacy felt appropriate, it was just so right, every thing. With these strong women in charge, i bet the beast is scared (i just saw an army of bright women!!). The memes of bernie sanders are hilarious and adorable. Sending love from Paris.

  42. Nigerian Girl says...

    It was such a beautiful, moving ceremony. The hope and light we needed in these dark uncertain times, a long-awaited return to decency and dignity.

  43. Ludie says...

    ❤❤❤ thank you for this.

  44. RK says...

    Y’all are the best. Thank you for celebrating, grieving and making space for your community to join you and thrive.

  45. Carolyn says...

    I cried listening to the press briefing. It was respectful and normal and informative. So wonderful to have that again.

  46. Jane I. says...

    The poem, the prayers, the speeches, the songs, the outfits, the feeling, the dignity!!! Ahhh!! I was weeping and texting my girlfriends who were at home watching with their children. I feel so much JOY!! I know, we still have a long way to go as a country, but today was about celebrating and I did just that. I clapped and cried and just let go of the last 4 years where it felt like I held my breath every single day.

  47. Stacey says...

    I’ve been crying all day – like, full on sobbing at times, completely randomly – like my body is purging the toxicity of the past four years. Every time I think of Kamala Harris being sworn in, or Joe Biden’s decency, or Amanda Gorman’s breathtaking poem, I break down again. Is this what hope and optimism feel like? It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten.

    • Liz C says...

      Yes! Beautifully said! I felt the toxicity slowly fading away…I feel so hopeful, happy and emotional!

    • Denise says...

      Yes, me too. It’s like the relief of starting to feel well after a prolonged illness. Only I didn’t feel it on inauguration day because of the fear of violence in my city, which thankfully didn’t occur, but the potential joy of the day was robbed by fear. But today, the 21st, I feel emotionally pulpy, traumatized, exhausted, but suddenly, finally, miraculously on the mend.

  48. Lo says...

    Loved and appreciated the whole day of festivities!

  49. Amanda says...

    So grateful for the beauty of the ceremony of this day, and I am now an Amanda Gorman fan forever and always. I’m grateful that we get to celebrate President Biden, Vice President Harris, and their families. I’m grateful for our three new senators from Georgia and California. But one of the great things about this nation is that it’s us, the people, who keep it running–the folks in Washington represent and work for us. Our job is, as it’s always been, to support this administration where they get it right and to push back when they get it wrong. But we can do that respectfully, without dehumanizing each other and giving in to hate and division. We can treat those we disagree with like they’re fellow humans and fellow citizens, because they are.

    • Eve says...

      That‘s so beautifully written, Amanda!

  50. Hayley B says...

    Just came here to say that it makes me SO HAPPY to be able to say/write President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris!!!!! It feels like my my heart can finally beat normally again after the past 4 years of what seemed like non-stop stress, fear and outrage. Onward to a better, more hopeful future!

  51. Liz says...

    I was moved (to tears) by the inauguration and day as a whole, but when I saw photographs of President Biden signing executive orders tonight, it really hit me. He is president. Kamala Harris is Vice-President. We did this. To call it a a sigh of relief would be an understatement of the highest order. This was something like a death rattle–but its exact opposite.

  52. Shelley says...

    I watched from Canada! I cried and smiled all day.

  53. Elizabeth says...

    Amanda!

  54. Michelle says...

    Today was such a beautiful day for our democracy to shine, an outward showing of a peaceful transfer of power. Something that really stuck with me from PRESIDENT Biden’s (ahhh!) speech was this:

    “To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent, peaceably, the guardrails of our republic, is perhaps this nation’s greatest strength.”

    The recognition that not everyone will agree, but we can still move forward together to find solutions to America’s problems. This bout of realism was a breath of fresh air after months and years of what felt like constant redirection. Today I have hope that this administration will weave back together the tapestry of our country, and make it shine bright again.

    • Maya says...

      As a counter-point, imagine if he had said, instead: “To white supremacists, to racists, to the intolerant: I am not your President. I denounce you and your actions.”

    • Katie says...

      It wasn’t a peaceful transfer of power though. For two months, republicans fought hard to overturn the election, leading to the attack on our Capitol on January 6th. Even then, many in Congress, including those who were elected in the same election Biden/Harris won, contested the results.

      Yesterday was beautiful, hopeful and cathartic. I cried. A lot.

      However, a peaceful transfer it was not. Let’s not forget what transpired and work toward a better future.

    • Rusty says...

      Maya, that is so powerful.

    • E says...

      A counter-point to your counter-point, Maya — Biden did say, “And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.”

      I think it’s incredibly important for the white supremacists, the racists, and the intolerant to recognize that Biden IS INDEED their president . To declare otherwise is to suggest that it’s okay for them to operate outside the rule of law, waging war on free society.

    • annie says...

      point taken, maya, but i agree with E. i don’t think much good would come of the guy leading the nation saying he wasn’t there to govern those who already denounce his presidency as stolen. those people MUST recognize him as their president. after all, i had to recognize trump as mine, as much as i loathed doing so.

  55. Meg K Robinson says...

    Anon, thank you. That was so heartening for this American to read. I am proud, too, as we all should be. We are taught from the time we are young that the world looks to our country as an example, and I think that made the last four years much harder and sadder. I’m hopeful that this day begins to heal us; your post was certainly a balm.

  56. riye says...

    Like many people, this is the first time in 4 years I’ve felt like I can breathe. I know we have a lot of work to do to get things on track but we’re on our way! P.S. I wasn’t expecting to cry while the President was getting sworn in but I did! :-)

  57. Sandra says...

    Hi Joanna,
    My name is Sandra. I am a Hispanic woman, mother, and wife. I come from a long line of strong hard working Mexican women. Women who rolled up their sleeves everyday in hot Texas sun to work alongside men and picked crops in order to provide for their children in hopes to give them an opportunity to live out a dream. I happen to be one of many who benefited from their sacrifice. The last 4 years I woke up everyday feeling like I had to pull on boxing gloves to fight my way through the hate. I felt so small even though I know it takes courage and hard work to be the only Hispanic woman working in my company and at a senior level in a male dominated field. But today Joanna, I stand tall and proud and feel a huge sense of relief. I am so excited for my sons future and know we’re going to be okay. Thanks for all you do here.

    • Jill says...

      Sandra, thank you for sharing.
      I’m just a big bundle of love today, so let me tell you I stand tall and proud for YOU. YOU are making a difference in your sons future.
      Thank YOU, Sandra.

  58. Jennifer says...

    I love this so much!!

  59. Tovah says...

    Peace.

    I don’t think I’ve truly felt it since 4 years ago.

  60. Claire says...

    I watched from the UK – I hadn’t anticipated how emotional it would make me. After Amanda’s poem I found myself trying to say ‘wow’ but no sound came out.
    Sending you all the very best and willing some dignity to return to our own politics soon.

  61. Jeannie says...

    Think of poet Amanda’s mom – she must be bursting with pride at the poise, strength and intelligence of the daughter she raised.

  62. jdp says...

    just the biggest relief of a day, all the speakers and singers so impressive, heartfelt and dignified. i even watched that “parade across america” with all those amazing groups representing the best of america’s diversity and unity. it’s like one day took an eraser, or at least calmly put the brakes on, the rage and darkness of the last four years.

  63. Denise says...

    In 2016, my family and I were deplaning in Barcelona after watching in disbelief the outcome of the election. As is our custom, as soon as we are thru customs, we are in search of good coffee!
    Our sweet waiter asked us what we thought of the election and when we responded how disappointed we were, he said something that I have hung onto these past 4 years. He said”America is a young country. Spain has had many idiots in charge and yet here we are on this beautiful day.”

    • jdp says...

      so insightful!!

    • Nadia says...

      That’s a wise sentiment! Thanks for sharing.

    • Gretchen says...

      I love this.

    • Judy says...

      I have read this aloud three times to family members. So true.

    • Faith says...

      I love this!

  64. Katie says...

    Hugging my 4 month old daughter and just sobbing as Kamala got sworn in today. May she never know a world without female leaders alllll the way up. What a day to be an American, but especially, what a day to be a woman. <3 <3

    • Charlie says...

      EXACTLY.

  65. Megan says...

    “For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” Gonna frame this to hang in my 9-month-old daughter’s room. Cried happy tears watching with her today. To see the inauguration of the first woman VP, and a good man sworn in as president… I am basking in the light of today, after such a long and dark four years.

  66. annie says...

    i’m so thankful that the day went off without a hitch. the extra work that went into this inauguration was stunning and i’m so grateful for it. now we have our OWN work to continue! i really learned so much in the last four years and one of the biggest lessons was, don’t ever stop fighting, even when your candidate wins. we have open minds and listening ears in the white house again. let’s make sure they hear us! <3

    • Fiona says...

      ” We have open minds and listening ears in the White House again. Let’s make sure they hear us!” This is perfectly put Annie thank you.

  67. Lisa Gray says...

    I was not expecting tears to fall, but when I watched Kamala Harris sworn in and Lady Gaga singing The National Anthem I just lost it. I had a string of pearls that were my grandmothers wrapped around my wrist thinking of her and RBG. It has been such a rough four years for so many people I know. I am privileged AND I have become aware of my part now and how I must keep speaking out. But for the first time, in a long time, I felt hope and that, combined with action, finally feels legitimate.

  68. Kim says...

    It’s such a relief to be on the other side of that nightmare. Election night in 2016, I was just absolutely gobsmacked watching the results come in. I never thought I’d make it to the other side! I am not trying to be dramatic, it just felt like the end. And gosh, did those four years drag on! I felt like I’ve lived a couple lives.

    To watch the inauguration this morning, -especially Amanda Gorman!- was so wonderfully cathartic for me.

  69. laura s says...

    tears of joy relief hope in our household today!

  70. Sage says...

    Cried happy tears at Kamala Harris being sworn in as our VP. Amazing!

    I LOVED the “virtual parade across America,” too! I hope we keep something similar to that even after the pandemic is over & celebrating together is OK again.

    Keep fighting, folks! No back to brunchers here. :) The work has begun.

  71. Virginie says...

    Hello from Canada ;)
    Watch the inauguration today and felt very happy for you all and hopeful after those dreadful years !
    So great to see all this diverse, brilliant women in the light : Kamala of course, Michelle Obama (OMG Michelle !)
    and Amanda was so powerful and graceful ! this was a moment of awe.
    Such a relief today!

  72. Katherine says...

    So much relief and pure joy! I can’t help thinking how much this means for our children and world, and how my baby girl will never know a world where women aren’t executive branch leaders. Sending so much love to everyone who helped make today possible.

  73. JS says...

    I feel like I’ve exhaled. As a woman, I have felt an undercurrent of… fear, I think, knowing Trump’s poor view of women has impacted America in dark ways. I feel a new (tentative yet optimistic) hope emerging with Biden and Harris. Today was a beautiful day – let the work begin anew.

  74. Jasmine H Chiu says...

    I was thinking so morbidly about what bad things could possibly happen today, but I am so happy for this new day and new chapter. Amanda Gorman’s poem and grace in delivering her words was a breath of fresh air. The image of Kamala and Sonia together KILLED ME. Everyone I spoke to today sounded so relieved after the official inauguration. It sounds like folks, although weary of the present, are cautiously optimistic for the future. I’m imagining how little girls must feel around the world knowing that the barriers are crumbling and we can do anything!

  75. Alison says...

    Amen and Hallelujah to this day. Honor. Dignity. Decency. Hope. All restored. Amanda Gorman was spectacular but I also thought Biden’s speech was one of the best and most inspirational I’ve ever heard. Truly Presidential. Now for the hard work. Let’s Go!

    • Liz says...

      Perfectly said!

  76. Karen says...

    Amanda Gorman! What beautiful words! Amazing delivery! And yes! Those hands.

  77. R says...

    What a beautiful, inspiring, and amazing day! And Biden is already signing executive orders to put the US back in the Paris agreement. One swipe of a pen and we’re back :) It feels like four years of darkness are over and we can all take a deep breath, and look forward to more positive change.

    • Rustt says...

      Yaaaaaaaas!!!!
      Whoo hoo for a smidgen of hope for our home, Earth.
      There is NO PLANET B!🌏

  78. Loren says...

    I loved that Vice President Harris chose to wear the color purple today. So did Secretary Clinton. What a sweet message of unity to our nation.

    • Cindy W says...

      Purple is also a traditional color of the women’s movement, along with white and gold!

    • AE says...

      She often wears purple in honor of Shirley chislom, one of her heros. There is no unity with racists— people who literally hate every aspect of her identity. I think people need to stop trying to push blanket unity when really they should be calling in their problematic relatives who voted for Trump or rioted the capitol. There is no unity with folks whose principles lie in wanting to destroy others based on race, gender, or religion.

    • Vero says...

      Yes. Accountability first, unity second.

  79. Abbie says...

    My kids have been nonstop with the Hamilton soundtrack lately which has me thinking so often of the intention of our country’s founding and purpose. Refreshing my constitutional knowledge (which is minimal) I was overwhelmed to find the preamble capitalized Union, Justice, Welfare, and Blessings of Liberty while leaving “defence” (British spelling) purposefully lowercase. Biden/Harris will certainly not be perfect but they offer the potential of a reframing of our unified outlook, a return to governing based on thoughtful discourse and debate. I felt inspired and proud to be a US citizen today, it’s been such a long, sad time since I had that conviction. May this new administration bring a better tomorrow for ALL of us.

  80. Erin Freeman says...

    Coats!

    • Karyn says...

      💜💙🤍❤️ They were so good!

    • DC says...

      You forgot 💛 Karyn! 😍

    • Karyn says...

      💛💛💛
      Yes, that was an awesome one, too! Amanda Gorman’s whole style 💛💛💛 :)

  81. Jeanne says...

    What a great day and what a relief. My shoulders are starting to unhunch after 4 years of lies and hate. Still so much work to do but wore my Kamala Converse in honor of today’s joy and tomorrow’s hope!

  82. Kelly says...

    I have experienced all the emotions today – anger at Trump’s departing speech, joy at seeing all of the various leaders coming together and watching Biden and our first women of color become Vice-President. I burst into tears when Lady Gaga sang the national anthem (first time for that song ). I felt pride, so much pride, that enough people in our country voted for hope and for decency. I felt awe for the Amanda Gorman’s beautiful, poignant poetry to mark the occasion. So much goodness and beauty.

    • Emily says...

      My goodness yes! I have been on an emotional rollercoaster. So many tears, so much hope.

  83. Jean says...

    I”m in England and finished work early today to watch it on tv, such a day of hope, I was cheering Joe and Kamala on! Congratulations America!

    • Jill says...

      Wow. Thanks for cheering us on Jean!
      I also cheer England on for being there for us for the last 4 years. You guys are true friends who have stood by us during a really difficult and awful period of time dealing with a dangerous bully.
      Thank you friend!

    • Rusty says...

      I stayed up til nearly 2AM to watch from Western Australia!!!
      It means THAT much to me, for all of you!❤

  84. Amy says...

    So happy! And cautiously optimistic. The work is just beginning, but at least we now have a competent and dignified commander in chief.

  85. Illana says...

    Thank God, we can be inspired again, by leaders who demonstrate decency, compassion, and service.

    The fashion?? Swoon! Michelle was divine, Kamala was glorious, (but Sonia, you had *one* job this morning! C’mon!) and really all the women taken together were amazing with their monochrome dress-and-coat color palette. I now want a dress-and-coat set, even with nowhere to wear it.

    Gaga was perfect – didn’t mess with the anthem much and I really appreciate that, and the Lady’s got pipes.

    President Biden’s speech was sincere, kind, clear-eyed, and resolute. Exactly what we need in order to continue the very hard work going forward.

    • Illana says...

      AND, Amanda Gorman was beyond. Graceful hands and graceful words — honestly, every line is quotable and its own affirmation that is post-worthy. Talk about inspiring!

    • Ana D says...

      I saw Justice Sotomayor DO her job – swear in the new VP. What else were you hoping for?

    • Heather says...

      Ana D, I think Illana is probably referring to Justice Sotomayor mispronouncing the VP’s first name while swearing her in. Presumably it was an accident, but conservative politicians like David Perdue have intentionally/mockingly mispronounced Kamala in the past, so it was jarring to hear it from Justice Sotomayor.

  86. JenMarie says...

    I was happy to belt out Amazing Grace when Garth Brooks asked. And I thought of all the millions of people around the world who were singing along with me.
    “I once was lost but now am found…”
    That encapsulates the difference between two Wednesdays ago, and today.

    • Whalin says...

      Yes! I so loved that moment! When the woman signed the pledge of allegiance was so powerful.

  87. Lauren says...

    I was very anxious for the inauguration today and feel so much relief that it happened without incident and so much pride for the hisotry that was made! Amanda Gorman stole the show for me – her poetry and poise took my breath away! I immediately looked her up on Instagram and saw that she is releasing a children’s book – quickest pre-order I have ever done! It sadly doesn’t come out until Septmber, but I am sure it will be worth the wait!

    Here is a link to preoder if you are interested: https://bookshop.org/books/change-sings-a-children-s-anthem/9780593203224.

  88. M says...

    Has Ended…

    Lyrics Thom Yorke

    I woke up in a city
    The soldiers had come home
    The ego it had ended
    His loud mouth was gone
    The witches all were singing
    And the water turned grey
    And the mirrors and the phones
    Caught flame, caught flame
    Saying we won’t make this mistake again
    Then the idiot was alone
    Was alone
    And the water, it forgave us
    And the fascists felt ashamed
    At their dancing puppet king
    Saying we won’t make this mistake again

  89. Kat v. says...

    I’ve been waiting for this post all day! For me, I’m never done dancing in good news until Joanna talks about it in her gorgeous, thoughtful way. And what a day to celebrate! Although I wouldn’t have chosen Biden initially (I still love Elizabeth Warren), I do believe right now he is the absolute best choice for our country right now and has listened and learned thoughtfully on how to be a leader for our time.

  90. Samantha says...

    What a whirlwind.

    Started the day feeling so anxious about the potential for more violence.
    Wining down the day feeling cautiously optimistic and hopeful. What. A. Day.

  91. Anon says...

    I am feeling so proud of our American neighbours (I am Canadian). I am not saying this in a patronizing way – I am saying it because the world has long looked to the superpower of the USA as an example, and today it feels like hope, dignity and justice have the chance to prevail. Thank you for that. I am so proud to see that you have stood tall in the face of your democracy being challenged. I am so proud of your resilience. I am so proud that you certified the votes on the same day you were attacked. I am so proud that you are owning the problems and facing forward and aiming for better. I am so proud to see a return to dignity and ethics. It restores my faith that the trajectory in history tends toward betterment and that we might be entering a better era. All this actually makes me feel hopeful for the first time in a long time. Sending you all so much love and all the best wishes. Congratulations!!!!

    • Jill says...

      Anon, what a fabulous note to America! Tears!
      Thank you so much for your well wishes and for, well, for feeling proud of us. I also feel proud to have you as my northern neighbor.
      Actually, we really are in this together. So cheesy, but so very true.

    • Emilie says...

      Could not have said it better! Breathing a deep, full body, toe-tingling sigh of relief here up north. Feeling pride and hope for what is to come. Inspired by young people, and feeling AMPED by the participation and attitudes of the next generation (um, Amanda Gorman!!)

      I am so happy for you, our dear neighbours and friends.

    • charlie says...

      Wow, thank you. We feel the same way. <3

    • Rusty says...

      I second that from Australia!!
      There. Is. Now. Hope. 🤗

  92. Lala says...

    We made it to the other side of November 8, 2016. We made it!!!!!

  93. R says...

    We can feel relieved, we can celebrate, but we cannot become complacent – let this be what pushes you to organize and fight, not what allows you to sit back and go to brunch. People are still being deported/separated/evicted/incarcerated/killed by police/exploited and none of that will change with Biden in office

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Absolutely agree!

    • Jill says...

      Okay, wow. It’s a happy day, and then this.
      Well, moving on from your downer perspective. I really do believe these things will change dramatically with President Biden. Nothing will be perfect, but it will get So. Much. Better.
      Biden isn’t a cure-all, Democrats aren’t a cure-all. Let’s all be well informed and help make it Better. Than. Ever.

    • CL says...

      I agree! I hear you R. This is the first of many steps. The work is not done and we have to keep fighting hard for the policies that will actually deliver the change so many of us want to see.

    • Betsie says...

      100%! Let us continue to hold our leaders accountable for fostering life and liberty for ALL in our country. These past four years have been a painful crash course in both American civics and history (not the one we’re taught in school) for many of us – let’s use what the last four years taught and clarified for us to stay engaged and active.

  94. Sobbed with happiness and relief!
    Oh and all the jewel toned outfits. I read somewhere, “It’s a good day for coats!” Indeed, it is!

    • Rusty says...

      Al, purple!
      Kamala, Michelle, Hillary.💜💜💜

  95. Elise says...

    Over here in England we are watching and we are so proud – you did it! <3

    • NW says...

      Yes! My family and I in England watched the whole thing with joy and hope for America and, naturally, the rest of the world. It was a step back to the right path.

    • Rusty says...

      A step FORWARD to the right path!
      There is no going back. Boom!

  96. Kate says...

    Somehow, we’ve weathered and witnessed
    A nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished

    Wow, her poetry is powerful. And it gives me such hope!

  97. CaraM says...

    The whole time Amanda Gorman was speaking, I was thinking, “Can Cup of Jo do a Beauty Uniform feature on Amanda….I must know more!” She was radiant – the kind that comes from the inside and shines outward. What inspirational words!

    • b says...

      I would just love to see a feature on her – she’s 23 and Youth Poet Laureate of the United States. What’s that like? How will being featured at the inauguration change her life? As a young woman in the world today, what are her hopes and dreams for the future (of the US, of poetry, of anything)?

    • K says...

      YES BEAUTY UNIFORM PLEASE

    • Kelsey says...

      Here, here!

    • Marisa says...

      Second this!!

    • Emie says...

      She is also a Harvard graduate and activist: “her work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization” (from Wikipedia). I’d like to see a complete feature about her and the work she is doing.

  98. Stephanie says...

    Wrapped up school with the kiddos just in time to catch Biden’s speech. To which my oldest, 7, said, “He sounds wise!” Yes he does, baby. And then to hear Amanda recite her poem. Hopeful, hopeful, hopeful.

  99. Molly says...

    Such relief. And yay for the donation matching for the NAACP. This cabinet position is long overdue.

  100. Em says...

    Kamala + Sonia, Amanda Gorman, Lady Gaga, what a good morning!

    • Caitlin says...

      One of our neighbors put a tv on their driveway and we had a little socially distanced watch party. Someone took their American flag off their house and stood waving it throughout the inauguration. It was a wonderful time and made a memory that we will all cherish! I wish I could climb up in a tree and shout with joy all day :) I’ll settle for having that feeling inside; it’s a pretty amazing feeling!

  101. Dayna says...

    So much joy, so much love, so much hope. I wanted and needed this day, for my own peace of mind but also for the future that my baby girl will live in. “We did it Joe!”

  102. Elizabeth says...

    Amazing day and men to all of what you said, Amanda’s poem blew me away, super psyched for the first woman of color/Indian/African American VP, such a good, good day for women….but can we talk about Michelle’s outfit?!? Wowza! Lady’s got style for miles. Love and miss her!

    • Dayna says...

      I’m rooting for a future Harris/Obama ticket! May never happen but there were ppl who doubted today would. Michelle O. is the epitome of grace, intelligence, strength and style. I heart her so much!

  103. AVA says...

    Amanda Gorman! I was spellbound. I missed her name when they introduced her, but about 10 seconds into her speaking, I was already googling “yellow jacket poet name”. By then of course she was already trending! The only other piece of public speaking that I recall being as impressed with in recent times was Michelle Obama’s 2016 speech.

    • Hesther says...

      Yes!!! We were watching with our girls who were beaming the whole time and we were narrating and explaining what was happening, but when she came on we all became silent. Sometimes moments and feelings can really only be articulated through poetry – she was amazing!

  104. Shashi Anand says...

    I totally cried and I got chills so many times. Madame Vice President!!!!

    • Jill says...

      MEEEEE TOOOOOOO Shashi!! Laugh crying! Madam Vice President!
      Hahahaha. Tears. Hahaha. Tears.

  105. L says...

    Woohoo!! I feel SUCH relief! Such a wonderful day. We have a LOT of work to do, America, but today is a good day.

  106. jen says...

    Today was a good day. I’m hoping for more days like this.

  107. Michaela says...

    Yay! This is definitely not THE ANSWER but it’s such a joy and a relief to be DONE with the last 4 years of tweeting, malicious misinformation, and outright cruelty from someone we are supposed to look up to. Thank you, CoJ, for talking about this and for celebrating! AND for your donation matching!

    • Molly says...

      Amen

  108. L says...

    I’m Canadian, but seeing all of this today made my heart swell. Amanda Gorman had me in tears. Much love and peace from your northern neighbour!

    • nadine says...

      Same same <3
      I felt moved also when seeing Kamala Harris oath. As a biracial woman that looks like her I can't express how much this means from me.

    • Julie says...

      Same! Canadian here too! Very relieved and happy for our Southern neigbours, even though there are still so many challenges ahead, of course.

    • Quinn says...

      Same – I was moved to tears more than once. Feeling relief and hope from across the border in Canada.

  109. Amanda says...

    I cried. I wasn’t watching but listening. Home from work with a feverish but playful toddler, we were constructing puzzles at the kitchen table and I was crying. I feel like I can breath a deep breath.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      <3

    • Ceridwen says...

      Amanda Gorman was incredible. I cried! I am Australian so feel so hopeful for you and also so pleased to have strong, positive leadership to make a global impact. I see leaders like Jacinda Ardern who show you can lead strongly and with compassion, empathy and hope… it shows a different way forward. This will be good for the planet. More than ever we need empathy, action and care. We need to work together. All the best to you all.

  110. E says...

    SO HAPPY AND RELIEVED TODAY. A lot of work left to be done but many things to be joyful about