To The Courier-Post:
Presidential Inaugurations provide opportunities for Americans to reflect. Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration poem, “The Hill We Climb,” reflects on the times during which it was written; yet her words remind us of other words that enhanced America in the past.
Famous words from Lincoln’s second Inaugural address in 1865, “. . . With malice toward none, with charity for all,” are reaffirmed by Gorman’s, “. . . We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all.”
Amanda’s words, “. . . Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished,” sound similar to Lincoln’s remarks in 1863 at Gettysburg: “It is for us the living . . . to be dedicated to the unfinished work.” We are encouraged “. . . to leave behind a country better than the one we were left with.” If not, “. . . Our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation. Our blunders become their burdens.”
It has been said that America is a shining light that guides freedom-loving people everywhere. “The Hill We Climb” declares, “. . . For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.” Applicable advice as we work together in 2021 to realize a more perfect union.
John C. Schafer