On the eve of their historic Inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala were joined by their spouses at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to bring the nation together to remember our fellow Americans lost to the devastating Coronavirus pandemic that still continues to rage through the country. Until that moment, there had not been any national event devoted to honoring the dead, and it fell to the incoming administration to begin the process of healing from the devastation caused by the outgoing one.
“To heal, we must remember. It’s hard, sometimes, to remember. But that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation,” President-elect Biden said in brief remarks, before taking a moment of silence before the array of lights set up alongside the pool.
Two parallel blue lights were lit on either side of the Washington Monument on the other end of the Reflecting Pool, and as they shot up into the sky and joined the glow of the 400 lights that had been set up all around the perimeter, MSNBC’s Brian Williams gave voice to the emotion of the moment and suggested those blue lights remain lit every night to remember the Americans already lost to COVID19, and any future losses to the virus as well.
Brian Williams on @msnbc makes a powerful case for making these lights along the reflecting pool a permanent memorial to the hundreds of thousands of Americans lost to Covid. pic.twitter.com/oP7QIBNvCr
— Mark Lukasiewicz (@DeanLuk) January 19, 2021
The National Mall is currently closed to visitors due to security concerns surrounding the inauguration and instead features thousands of flags representing Americans who cannot attend the inauguration in person due to the pandemic. Vice President-elect Harris also delivered brief remarks at the event before introducing Lori Marie Key, a Detroit nurse who has served COVID-19 patients, who sang the hymn “Amazing Grace” at the ceremony. Yolanda Adams delivered an abbreviated but emotional, acapella version of the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah.”
— T👻r👻 D🐈⬛bl💀n 🎃🧙🏻♀️ (@taradublinrocks) January 19, 2021
“Tonight, we grieve and begin healing together. Though we may be physically separated, we the American people are united in spirit,” Harris said.
You can watch the incredibly moving event in full below.