I couldn't help but feel emotional after watching today’s presidential inauguration and honestly, I was surprised. Not surprised as to why I was emotional, as today will be viewed as a historic and monumental day in our nation’s history, forever. But surprised as to how emotional I really was. 

In my view, there are no more words to describe how brutal the last four years have been. It pains me to think about the millions of people who quite frankly were undoubtedly living in fear of their lives, their health, their ability to work, their ability to publicly and loudly identify how they wish due to the violence Trump and his supporters not only threatened, but eventually acted on. I never want to live in a world like that again. 

I believe the state of our democracy to be tougher than we might think. I feel the institutions meant to protect all Americans have failed tremendously the last four years, and they have especially failed the forgotten lower class, people of color, immigrants, Black Americans, Native Americans, women, immigrant children and hundreds of other underrepresented groups. 

I believe that the damage caused by the Trump administration is almost irreversible, and that is a deeply troubling thought. I strongly believe that it will take the entirety of the Biden-Harris first term in office to fully regain the public’s trust in government, a steadily declining devotion that is only ever earned. 

I believe that if the word of the newly elected president and vice president are kept, and promises are not forgotten, the much needed healing of our country will take place and our democracy can begin anew. However, I feel it will require the efforts of many who are not quite ready to put down their torches and accept defeat. 

The Public’s Radio is sharing essays from local students on the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.