Thursday, January 21, 2021

Girl Power

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Well, yesterday was a day, wasn't it? Who else watched the inauguration all the way through? As Rick and I sat glued to the big screen TV in our living room, we kept nudging each other and saying, "This is history. We are seeing history." 

There were so many memorable moments, but certainly one of the most outstanding was seeing Vice President Kamala Harris sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

This is what our granddaughter thought about seeing the first female vice-president of the United States!


The world is her oyster now. She even took donuts to school to celebrate! (And I got one that was leftover...)


There were so many other highlights--I'm going to be sifting through them for weeks. President Biden's speech, of course. The passing of the colors. I loved seeing the Clintons, the Bushes, and the Obamas, and the relationships they all have formed.  I loved the obvious affection and pride shown by Dr. Jill Biden for President Biden, and by Doug Emhoff for Vice President Harris. I loved Amy Klobuchar's humor. Bernie's mittens.

But my most awe-struck, teary-eyed moment came as I listened to our youngest ever Inaugural Poet, Amanda Gorman, read her poem, THE HILL WE CLIMB.

If you somehow missed this, she is just stunning. Not only her beautiful words, but her expression, her delivery, her emotion!


I think we'll all be memorizing and reciting this for years to come. And that she will be a force to be reckoned with.

And, now, can we be trivial? 

Who gave the best performance? What about Lady Gaga's gold mic? Garth Brooks without his hat? What was your favorite outfit? Were Dr. Biden's shoes killing her?

REDs and dear readers, share your favorite moments!



107 comments:

  1. Aaaww . . . your granddaughter is so cute!

    An amazing day . . . .
    I’m a pushover for the National Anthem . . . so my “favorite” goes to Lady Gaga . . . .

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    1. I'm with you Joan. she was astonishing. I know Hank loved the dress...I'm not so sure though she surely carried it off!

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  2. I'm with Joan, Lady Gaga, for the win!

    Your daughter is raising Wren right! Love the t-shirt.

    I was teary a dozen times all day, as I sat watching Kamala Harris sworn in as our first female VP. So much joy, between that historic moment, and a real leader finally taking the reins again. We have been waiting, with bated breath, to celebrate this moment.

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    1. Karen, I remember Geraldine Ferraro accepting the VP nomination back in 1984. I was going to school in D.C., and had a tiny little black and white TV, and I cried. I never would have dreamed it would take another 36 years to get a woman up on the podium. I cried a little this time, too.

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    2. Julia, I was just telling a young woman friend about Ferraro, and our disappointment!

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  3. I'm with Joan, Lady Gaga, for the win!

    Your daughter is raising Wren right! Love the t-shirt.

    I was teary a dozen times all day, as I sat watching Kamala Harris sworn in as our first female VP. So much joy, between that historic moment, and a real leader finally taking the reins again. We have been waiting, with bated breath, to celebrate this moment.

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  4. Best unexpected great moment was Amanda Gorman. Best singing performance was Lady Gaga, who now owns The Star Spangled Banner. Best moments I couldn’t wait to happen were the oaths of office.

    Like you, Debs, I love the love shown between the President and his wife and the VP and her husband. Love and joy have returned to the White House. Tonight during the virtual concert, it showed a picture of what was going on at the White House, and President and Dr. Biden were dancing with one of their grandkids in a room with the fire going in the fireplace. What a beautiful, happy scene.

    And, Debs, that Wren is a doll!

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    1. Aw, thank you both. But I keep thinking that in a few years Wren won't be able to imagine a world where she couldn't be vice president. Or, hopefully, president.

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    2. Debs, that's what I hope for my granddaughter, too, that what is the extraordinary now will be the ordinary when she is grown.

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  5. The respect give at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Bidens at the front door of the White House.

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    1. That quiet moment the Bidens took at the door before walking in together was beautiful.

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    2. Yes, those were among my highlights, too, Deana and Edith.

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    3. Oh, yes, that moment at the front door of the White House.

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  6. REDS AND READERS: I am so happy for you. The first female VP is a milestone that will not be forgotten. And you have a president who has the traits we all hope for in a world leader including decency and empathy, as well as decades of experience and public service to hopefully rebuild your fractured country.

    The rest of the world is watching.

    I only saw some highlight clips of the Inauguration ceremony but I agree that one of the highlights was Amanda Gorman's inaugural poem. AMAZING!

    I missed hearing Lady Gaga sing but her outfit looked incredible (as usual). And I missed the evening virtual concerts, sorry.

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    1. Grace,
      Thank you. Did Canada have a woman Prime Minister named Kim Campbell?

      Diana

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    2. DIANA: YES, Kim Campbell was Canada's FIRST Female Prime Minister (PM) in 1993.
      But her time as PM was very short (133 days) since they government was forced to have a federal election and Campbell-led government LOST in a huge landslide.

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  7. I also wept tears of joy throughout. Amanda was indeed stunning. I wished they'd given her a taller step to stand on so the mikes didn't hide her mouth half the time! Poetry as performance art. And so much wisdom. Just...wow. Also, our dear late Ramona would have been over the moon for her. Ramona supported the written arts in all forms. And she adored her fellow Delawarean "Uncle Joe." Yesterday in the Sprint Club many of us were talking about how delighted she would have been at yesterday, and hoped she was looking down and smiling.

    Lady Gaga has some pipes, doesn't she? I'm not sure I've really heard her sing before.

    So much love, so much history, so much decency and intelligence. I am grateful the grownups are back. Amy Klobuchar's joy at presenting the event was obvious and catching. I brought my little statue of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in to watch with me. I thought she should be there.

    But...why were the guests all hugging and standing so close, even masked, after the ceremony (more than before it)? They continued when they went inside. It bothered both of us - I hope the Clintons and other didn't become superspreaders.

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    1. omg Edith, you must drop what you're doing and watch Gaga in A STAR IS BORN!

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    2. Edith: I agree about the hugging. I found that disturbing, too.

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    3. Edith, everyone on the platform had been tested twice over the last two days. They were very careful about that. I might not have hugged anyone, but it was a choice.

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    4. EDITH: I agree it was rather jarring to see all the hugging between the VIP guests/former Presidents and First Ladies after the inauguration ceremony. But I am guessing all of them had been tested and we know that Biden and Harris have received the vaccine.

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    5. Edith, they said on the channel I was watching that each person present had been tested twice prior to the inauguration.

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    6. We wondered about that, too. Glad to know everyone was tested. I figured the former presidents and first ladies had been vaccinated.

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    7. Thanks for that info about testing - I hadn't heard that. I feel better.

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  8. I was teary-eyed through the whole thing. I loved seeing Kamala Harris being sworn in by Justice Sotomayor. I loved seeing Biden sworn in, period. Amanda Gorman blew me away: her words, her poise, that yellow coat, and the profile that spoke of African queens of yore. She was all that is right about America's multicultural society.

    The thing that struck me again and again was how inclusive the event was, down to the fact that the United States Marine Band played music by Black American composer Adolphus Hailstork in amongst the Sousa. The fine arts made a big comeback throughout. The flag installation, standing in for the crowds that couldn't be there due to the pandemic, was eloquent and moving. All the singers were good, and reflective of the range of American music. Gaga was great, drawing on her classical vocal training, and Garth sang Amazing Grace a cappella! I loved the whole thing.

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    1. I didn't recognize the Hailstork (what a great name!) but I loved it when I saw you post that on Facebook, Gigi. I thought the Capitol was visually stunning. The flags were certainly helped along by the nearly fifty mile an hour wind gusts!

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    2. Gigi, I didn't know Lady Gaga had classical training. That certainly explained her virtuoso performance. I was blown away by her interpretation of the song - you don't hear it done in an individual manner very often, and this was a moving version.

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    3. Agreed, Julia. There were a whole lot of things, including the SSB lyrics, that took on new resonance after the riot two weeks ago.

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  9. Amanda Gorman - Wow. Mesmerizing. She 'spoke' with her hands as well as her voice?! It was a performance, ike those amazing fireworks, with so much meaning (and hope) among and between the words. Wow. I listened. And now, listened again. (She has a children's book coming out: Change Sings: A Children's Anthem Hardcover in September.)

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    1. Hallie, here hands were so eloquently a part of the performance. Mesmerizing. A book with her inauguration poem, The Hill We Climb, is coming out in September. Having just checked the date, I see that now they have a book of it coming out in April. The demand must have been overwhelming.

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  10. We both cried through parts of the ceremony, joy, relief, pride. I wept through the swearing in of our new VP. Lady Gaga was outstanding. I am always a wreck before anyone sings the national anthem. (So many successes but too many fails.) We also loved Jennifer Lopez's performance, I adore This Land is Your Land.

    What surprised me was the beautiful prayer and the benediction. This time they just were so perfect and in the moment!

    I think the inaugural address was Joe Biden's best speech ever. My dearest hope is for him to succeed
    in toning down the pervasive and bitter rhetoric that has replaced governance.

    Unfortunately, I pooped out early and missed the concert. What was the best part?

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    1. There were lots of good performances and it was very diverse. But I think my favorite was the montage of all the quarantined Broadway stars singing 525,600 Minutes from Rent, which morphed into Let the Sun Shine In from Hair.

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    2. Have any of you caught Randy Rainbow's version of that song?

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    3. Gigi, I have, and I think it's the best thing Randy rainbow has ever done!

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  11. I want to go coat shopping... Seriously. Make mine purple.

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    1. Yes, I LOVED the purple coat!!!! And Amanda Gorman's yellow one!

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    2. Years ago, I bought enough purple wool gabardine to make a coat, but never got around to it. This might be the time.

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    3. Everyone, I had a wool gabardine jacket in similar colors when I worked in the Old Executive Building another lifetime ago!

      Diana

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    4. There is a meme going around with all the coats in a row -- from Harris' purple to Obama's red with the yellow one in the middle -- it's a rainbow.

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  12. I caught as much as I could while still doing my work, but Amanda Gorman got my full attention. Wow. What a voice with words to match.

    So much joy in watching unfold a dignified, intelligent, arts-rich inauguration of grown-ups. May their work bring justice to all.

    As for the outfits: a big YES to the fabulous coats worn by Kamala Harris, Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama. Loved the colours and the style. I did feel bad for Jill Biden in those heels!

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  13. The love! The joy! Happiness! Such a wonderful, great way to start us off!

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  14. It would be hard to top Amanda Gorman. And Lady Gaga, what a voice. Remembering the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music at the Oscars a few years ago. She worked with a voice coach for six moths prior. As I recall, her original training was as an opera singer. And no one else could have carried off that dress!

    But my most emotional reaction was to the swearing in of the Vice President and the President. I feel as if a weight has been lifted off our collective shoulders. It's going to be a long hard row to hoe, but I have faith.

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    1. That Sound of Music tribute was the first I was aware of her great voice, Ann.

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    2. My moment of recognition of Stephanie's (Lady Gaga's real name) talent was on her special with Tony Bennett. She gave so many wonderfully nuanced renditions of his best songs.

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    3. Right, Karen. When she performed with Tony Bennett, it was a revelation!

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  15. Wren grows up so fast, it seems to me that she was just a baby yesterday.
    I had to be out of home during the inauguration, I saw many bits on News Chanel. I felt so relieved and hopeful for Americans and the world.
    What moves me the most is Amanda reading this powerful poem.

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  16. So many moments of pure joy.
    Joe was so real and so touching.
    Kamala looked ready to burst with excitement.
    Amy K. -- to distinguish her from yours truly;) -- was a wonderful "host."
    And Lady Gaga! That girl has pipes (and, yes, you need to watch A Star is Born!).
    Speaking of A Star is Born, the extraordinary Amanda Gorman STUNNED me:
    Let the globe, if nothing else say, this is true.
    That even as we grieved, we grew.
    That even as we hurt, we hoped.
    That even as we tired, we tried.

    I also think Amanda should get the award for Best Coat!

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    1. I LOVED her coat! And her headband. The coat was Prada.

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  17. Oh what a treasure Amanda Gorman is and what a force to be reckoned with in the future. I saw her interviewed this morning. A delightful woman with a strong sense of self.

    My favorite performance - Garth Brooks. He sang one of my favorite hymns. I know, everyone's right, and I loved watching his exuberant greeting of the former presidents and first ladies. Joe Biden's speech. Wow. Perfect.

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    1. Garth did a wonderful job a cappella, but did he have a plane to catch? :-)

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    2. The Kennedy Center has selected Garth as one of their five honorees this year. Apparently he often makes himself available and useful at their official events. When the cameras cut away to the other people on the dais during the third verse I could see that Kamala sang along, but Pence's jaw did not move.

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  18. I posted my (double, sorry) answer in the middle of the night. I was too excited to sleep last night!

    Amanda Gorman blew me away. My husband even commented on her presence and poise, even aside from her incredibly eloquent poem. What a find, and so young.

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  19. So many things! I absolutely loved President Biden and his wife hugging, I just… It was just so illustrative of what we did not have before. I loved when Amy Klobuchar made a joke and everyone laughed, and I realized no one had laughed for four years.
    I burst out laughing again when Lady Gaga attempted to walk out that door in that dress, but wow, that dress was a stunning! I could have done without the bird, but think how brilliant that dress was… The top was wool, like a coat, so she wasn’t cold.
    And I have always been secretly annoyed that no one sees the national anthem in a way that illustrates what it really means – – and she did it perfectly.
    It’s a question, right? Can you see the flag, is it still there? Yes it is!And it absolutely brought me to tears. So many things .

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    1. I'm going to watch her again today. It was just so much to take in all at once!

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    2. Hrr bird pin is a dove with an olive branch! Spot on!

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  20. Also! I have a friend in the fashion industry who told me saga dress is couture, and cost $20,000.

    And I know it’s not the most important thing, but Amanda Gorman‘s yellow coat was astonishing. Did you see she had black leather on underneath?

    And the fireworks. And that incredible celebration program afterwards, did you see that? Every single song was thematically “good riddance and we are so glad you are gone, and tomorrow will be better. “ Every single one.

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    1. Her earrings and ring were gifts from Oprah, who offered to buy her a coat until she said she had already gotten one, in yellow, her favorite color. The ring was in honor of Maya Angelou, with a gold cage with a bird inside.

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  21. Amanda Gorman is a star! I wept on and off for the entire day. It was all so moving! Lady Gaga was amazing too.
    I got to weep again later int the afternoon when Georgia's two new senators were sworn in by our first lady Vice-Presidant. I almost burst with pride.

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  22. I caught a bit of a clip on last night's news of Amanda Gorman saying that her children's book coming out in September was #1 on Amazon!! And of course I've ordered it, too. And the book about Champ and Major, for Wren.

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    1. Deborah, I want to order these books too! Diana

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    2. That was my mistake above. It's not her children's book that's #1, but THE HILL WE CLIMB, her upcoming collection of poetry, which will include the inaugural poem.

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  23. What a day! I had - of all things - a covid vaccination appt yesterday,and you don't skip that. So I saw it all very disjointed - some before I left, some later after I got back, some of the concert at night. And it was still great. I can't quite take it in. I spent 4 years saying, "There is another election in 4 years. And what is being done can be undone" but I still can't quite believe it really happened. The whole day was human, real, thoughtful, hopeful. Even humorous. Did it actually happen? :-)

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    1. Congrats on getting the shot, Triss!

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    2. Yes, congrats on your shot, Triss!!! And I still feel gobsmacked, too. Every time I hear "President Biden" I have to pinch myself.

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  24. Deborah, what a wonderful day it was! Even friends who never post anything political posted about Amanda Gorman because they loved her. A friend also posted a photo of a rainbow and wrote that she felt very hopeful and that it was a new day.

    Many people have posted about Amanda Gorman. I thought I saw her signing a bit? One of my favorites was seeing Andrea Hall ? signing the Pledge of Allegiance. Few, if anyone, posted about the sign language.

    I loved Dr. Jill Biden's matching mask and clothes in periwinkle blue, though they looked green to me. VP Kamala Harris' purple coat was similar color to my purple jacket when I worked in the OVP a lifetime ago. I met Kamala years ago when she was running for Attorney General in California.

    It is hard to pick a favorite. I think that I loved EVERYTHING about the Inauguration yesterday. I thought the evening celebrations were very inclusive with us seeing people across the country celebrating.

    Regarding donuts, great minds think alike! I baked a donut cake yesterday. It was my first attempt at baking a donut cake with oat milk and almond flour. All dairy free and gluten free!

    Love that Wren brought donuts to school. Hope everyone is healthy and safe!

    Onwards,
    Diana

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    1. Diana, I thought about you when Andrea Hall signed the Pledge of Allegiance. Another high point!

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    2. I cried when I saw the signing, Diana.

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    3. Deborah, thank you. I loved seeing the sign language. It was a surprise!

      Edith, thank you. Nice surprise to see that!

      Diana

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  25. And the GORGEOUS leather gloves in all colors.

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    1. Oh, yes, the gloves!! (And Bernie's mittens!!!) And I loved that both Hillary and Michelle chose to wear pants suits and shoes they could walk in--and looked very smart. Hillary's hair has grown out (like so many of ours) and Laura has gone very blonde.

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    2. I've been getting such a kick out of the Bernie memes! He's like a grouchy but lovable uncle.

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  26. The festivities yesterday were inspiring and a relief! I only saw bits and pieces. Missed Lady Gaga, darn it, but I know she has pipes and heard her national anthem before. She is amazing. As was Garth and his Amazing Grace. The support and friendship shown by the former First Families was wonderful. Amanda's poem and recitation of it was amazing. It was all good!

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  27. I loved something I haven't seen mentioned yet - the young Marine (I think) who led the pledge of allegiance, and signed the whole thing, eloquently, in her pristine white gloves. I'd never seen it before, and I thought it was both lovely and inclusive.

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    1. Yes, she was wonderful, and Diana mentioned her above.

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    2. Julia, Andrea Hall is actually a fire chief in South Fulton, GA, the first woman they've had in that job.

      https://www.npr.org/sections/inauguration-day-live-updates/2021/01/20/958794316/firefighter-leads-the-pledge-of-allegiance-spoken-and-in-sign-language

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    3. Karen, I wonder how she knew sign language. Diana

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  28. Oh, and does anyone else want to bring back coats matched to outfit matched to gloves? It looks so stunning, why don't we do this regularly?

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    1. So agree!!! No one has mentioned the Biden granddaughters. I loved their matching outfits, too. And they all looked so good together.

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    2. And Doug Emhoff's daughter, who is in fashion design!

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    3. Yes, and I think some hats would have helped out with all the hair blowing in the wind. Can't go wrong with a good hat.

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    4. Karen, was that the one with the coat with the shoulders? I LOVED that coat!

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    5. It was some sort of pattern (tattersall, maybe), with rhinestones on the shoulders.

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  29. Both President Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff wore Ralph Lauren. So iconic, and so wonderful to see men who know how to wear a suit! And coats!

    What fun to get used to saying "Second Gentleman!" Although I read that when Kamala was asked what she would call him, she said, "Honey."

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    1. Deborah,

      I wonder if Dr. Jill Biden's mask and clothes were from Ralph Lauren too?

      Diana

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    2. No. I saw a reference to her designer earlier but can't find it now, of course. It wasn't Lauren, but I think maybe Hilary Clinton was wearing Lauren.

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    3. Dr. Biden's coat/dress outfit was by New York based Markarian--designed by Alexandra O'Neill, according to The Washington Post.

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  30. If you missed this last night, here is the fabulous John Legend, for all of us! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDY55T-v4MM&feature=share

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  31. Yes to all of this. The most striking thing for me was the way that inclusivity was built into so many of the program elements. When I saw the pledge being simultaneously spoken and signed, it destroyed me in the best possible way. I loved that there were rainbows tucked into the fireworks, and some of the backdrops for presenters. It would have been marvelous to see a direct acknowledgement of the land the capitol stands on but there was just such joy at seeing the intentions that informed the day. Also - John Legend with Lincoln in the background. Speechless!

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  32. I didn't end up getting off work until a little after 9 last night, so I still haven't viewed most of yesterday. ( I saw a highlight here or there on the internet, but I really was consumed with work most of the time.) But it is wonderful to see these aspects highlighted so I know what things to be sure I see when I go try to catch up!

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  33. It was spectacular! I loved all of it. The peaceful transfer of power, the respect between leaders, the gold mic, I was a big fan of Pelosi's shoes and Michelle's belt. And that poem! I felt like I was watching the next generation's Maya Angelou and it was glorious.

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  34. Lady Gaga owned the Star Spangled Banner and Jennifer Lopez was wonderful too. I loved the multicultural touch. Kamala Harris' irrepressible smile at "So help me, God." accompanied by a man who doesn't need to be the center of attention. Go, Doug Emhoff. Later in the day, John Legend was my favourite act, but then, he always is.

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  35. Lady Gaga was magnificent. And Michelle, did you see how she walked through the doors and down the stairs. Simply beautiful. Love the fist bump between Kamala and Obama. I bet when the was in the car, those shoes were off. I like how every thing was nice and you can tell that they liked each other. And Amanda Gorman...she made me want to write more poems again. It was a beautiful day and I'm so glad I was able to witness it.

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    1. I loved Michelle's hair, and remembered her "I really don't want to mess with it" way she wore it during Trump's inauguration. Michelle was back, baby! And she looked great.

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    2. Yes, BACK. And wow. And yay, Dru. Imagine how happy Amanda Gorman would be to hear that.

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  36. I loved all of it! But especially Amanda Gorman. I've pre-ordered her poetry collection, "Together We Climb."

    And honestly, I started blubbering about two sentences into Sen. Klobuchar's opening remarks. I'm usually not too openly emotional, but I just went with it for the rest of the inauguration.

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  37. I didn't get to check in yesterday, apologies. Wednesday's inauguration was the first I've watched in a long time. I thought all three music pieces were lovely (I appreciate a good Star Spangled Banner, and Garth Brooks did a lovely Amazing Grace).

    But hands down, best "moment" was listening to Amanda Gorman. What a recitation. It gave me shivers.

    Someone on Twitter remarked that four years ago, it started raining when the oat of office was administered. Wednesday, the sun came out. Seems even Nature approved the events of the day.

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