Last Wednesday morning I watched the inauguration of our nation’s 46th president, Joseph R. Biden, with tears in my eyes.
Politics aside, what I saw was a man with a goal — a goal similar to our nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, whose aim was to unify the country as the Civil War neared its end.
Two months before the war officially ended and 41 days before he was assassinated, Lincoln asked the nation to unite and heal.
“With malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations,” he said.
Although our nation did not fight a years-long civil war, November’s election did create a severe rift in our country and did result in bloodshed when devout followers of our former president stormed the Capitol seeking to overturn the results.
We’ve also been fighting a war against the spread of an unseen enemy: the coronavirus. While so many have done their part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, as of earlier this week it had claimed the lives of nearly 4,100 of our fellow residents of the Silver State.
In addition to the toll it’s taken on the lives of Nevadans, the virus and attempts to stem it from killing others have affected every aspect of our lives. Businesses are struggling. People have lost their jobs.
And despite years of fighting against discrimination and racial injustices, they still exist.
Now, just as it did 156 years ago, our nation needs to heal. Our citizens need to remember that we are all Americans. We have a common goal.
In his address, Biden offered something that has been lacking in our country for months: hope. He said we “look ahead in our uniquely American way — restless, bold, optimistic …”
I am optimistic that the cloud we have been under – because of the political divide, pervasive negativity, inequalities and restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus – is beginning to lift and that sunnier days are ahead.
We’ve seen that hope in the past few weeks as about 212,000 vaccines for COVID-19 have been distributed throughout the state to be administered to frontline workers and those most at risk for “negative impacts” from the virus.
Vaccination clinics in Boulder City opened Monday, and in just two days more than 600 people received their first dose.
In his State of the City address, Mayor Kiernan McManus promised that the city will “be working hard to bring us out of this crisis.”
It may be slow, but we are making progress. Let’s do it together, as a united nation. As a “team, together everyone achieves more.”
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.