This story is a staff report from The Paper.


This letter to the editor was submitted to The Paper by Rich Guay of Albuquerque, NM.

As I watched President Biden’s Inauguration a few thoughts floated through my conscious. First, the unshakable reality that with the swearing-in of Vice President Kamala Harris America made history once again. Secondly, women are overdue and well-prepared to address our nation’s missteps and incorporate them as they stare firmly in the face of our future. Thirdly, remember the name Amanda Gorman. The Youth Poet Laureate stole the stage as she eloquently stood on the shoulders of Maya Angelou and told the entire world that the United States is “not broken, simply unfinished.” On a chilly January morning on the steps of our nation’s capitol Amanda reminded every American that progress takes time but if unity and compassion are its fuel it can never be snuffed out, only delayed.

Simultaneous with those thoughts I couldn’t help absorbing the juxtaposition of parliamentary tradition with the optimism and innocence of youth. I have tremendous respect for those who have for decades served our country honorably, but when we talk about – and cheer for change lets loosen our grip on tradition and listen when our future talks. Amanda’s poem today did more in five minutes for our ascension from times of deplorable rhetoric and racial divides than those seated behind her could do in years. Thank you, Amanda.