As the U.S. prepares to inaugurate a new government, we have been distracted by an attempted insurrection from the historic nature of this new government. When Kamala Devi Harris takes her oath of office for the first time, a woman will be inaugurated as Vice-President. I don’t think I need to remind anyone how historic this is. I can however remind you to take a moment. Sit with it. Let it sink in. 

There are many things that make Kamala Harris exceptional. Intelligence, tenacity, hard work, her blended family, her degree from an HBCU, her Caribbean and South Asian roots, Being a cool Aunt. Like Obama before her, we see the American Dream in action. While women aren’t quite at the top job yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This time the elusive American Dream can be applied to a woman. By being there, Harris represents hope women have never had before. Change is here and there is more to come.

An Invitation Re-design to the Inauguration of Joe Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris by Lisa Congdon

We will all be saying Madame Vice-President for the next four years. Or maybe we’ll be calling Harris Vice-President Aunty as her niece has affectionately dubbed her. She even has t-shirts. Somehow, I imagine trying to call Harris Vice-President Aunty and being told it’s ‘Madame Vice-President’ to you.

As a girl, my mom took me to Washington DC for Bill Clinton’s first election. Her good friend lived just outside of D.C. in a Maryland suburb. We spent most of our time visiting the museums and monuments. We watched the inauguration on giant screens on the lawn. It was an exciting time to be in the capitol. 

At that age, I was too young to fully appreciate the speeches. I remember the energy and excitement. And I remember how safe it was. D.C. is not known as a particularly safe city. But at that time, my Mom’s friend said that because of the inauguration there was extra security and so many people in town for the event, you could walk around the monuments at night. Something that would normally not be advised even in the 90s. Messages from friends in D.C. now tell a very different story, one of a city on lockdown.

Flag and Light Installation on the National Mall ahead of the 2021 Inaugration

In a brilliant move, 200,000 flags have been placed on the National Mall instead of people. A somber art installation that at once honors the American people and prevents them from gathering during a pandemic. It also prevents insurrectionists who do not care about social distancing during a pandemic but do care about honoring the flag from coming to protest. It is a stand-in audience to watch Kamala Harris and Joe Biden take their oaths.

I wish I could watch the inauguration with my Mom. It is a moment you want to share with your mother. COVID travel restrictions won’t allow for that. My Mom’s dear friend passed away many years ago due to numerous health problems. Her own mother had been a proud Marine veteran. I’d like to think she too would be excited to see a woman taking the office of Vice-President. I think of all the women who would be so happy to see this day. 

 Covid has taken so much from us this year. Insurrectionists tried to take more. But I won’t let a disease or terrorists take the joy and pride I feel. While I might not be able to celebrate with the most important women in my life, I know it won’t be the last opportunity to celebrate a woman reaching new heights.

***From “I’m speaking” to Vice-President Aunty there is plenty of Kamala merch for you. WSC is part of the Etsy Affiliate program. ***