On Tuesday night, President-Elect Joe Biden and his wife, along with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and her husband arrived in DC and participated in a national Covid-19 memorial service at the Lincoln Memorial ahead of the swearing-in ceremony today.
Addressing the nation, President-elect Joe Biden paid tribute to the thousands of lives lost to the Covid-19 pandemic at a memorial held by the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Biden began his remarks by thanking a Michigan nurse, Lori Marie Key, who sang “Amazing Grace” at the memorial. “If there are any angels in heaven, they’re all nurses. We know from our family experience what you do, the courage, and the pain you absorb for others. So, thank you. Thank you,” Biden said.
“To heal, we must remember. It’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation. That’s why we’re here today. Between sundown and dusk let us shine the lights in the darkness along with the sacred pool of reflection and remember all those who we lost,” Biden said before introducing Yolanda Adams, who performed “Hallelujah.”
During his brief remarks, Biden faced the colossal statue of Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War president who served as more than 600,000 Americans died. As he turned to walk away at the conclusion of the vigil, he faced the black granite wall listing the 58,000-plus Americans who perished in Vietnam.
Biden was joined by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who spoke of the collective anguish of the nation, a not-so-subtle admonishment of outgoing President Donald Trump, who has spoken sparingly about the pandemic in recent months.“For many months we have grieved by ourselves,” said Harris, who will make history as the first woman to serve as vice president when she’s sworn in. “Tonight, we grieve and begin healing together.”
“Though we may be physically separated, we, the American people, are united in spirit. And my abiding hope, my abiding prayer, is that we emerge from this ordeal with new wisdom to cherish simple moments, to imagine new possibilities, and to open our hearts just a little bit more to one another,” Harris said.
The National Mall along with other places of significance around the country lit up in honor of Covid-19 victims.