Joe Biden arrived in Washington, DC the day before his inauguration and visited the Lincoln Memorial, where he presided over a solemn ceremony to mark the Covid-19 tragedy.
With the death toll surpassing 400,000 today, Biden said, “To heal we have to remember. Sometimes it’s hard to remember, but that’s how we heal. It is important to do this as a nation… Between sunset and dusk, let the lights and darkness shine on the sacred pool of reflection to remember all that we have lost.
He and Jill Biden, along with Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff, then looked in the mirror at the memorial, where rows of white rectangular monoliths lined the edges to signify lives lost.
The ceremony was in contrast to past openings, in that so few people were present at the site due to security measures that largely cordoned off the National Mall. But the ceremony was planned even before the Capitol siege, signaling Biden’s commitment to bringing the virus under control and his empathy for those whose lives have been turned upside down by it.
Lori Marie Key, a Michigan nurse who has treated patients with Covid-19, sang amazing Grace, explaining: “When I’m at work, I sing. It gives me strength in difficult times and I think it helps heal.
Yolanda Adams also sang Hallelujah, as CNN and MSNBC networks cut shots of an amber sunset over city landmarks and memorials.