January 20, 2021 vs January 6, 2021 — Contrast in Democracy

 In Sarah Byrn Rickman

In the Wake of Violence, Order

January 20, 2021 — Washington D.C., The United States of America

It’s Inauguration Evening, January 20, 2021. Why am I not exhausted from spending the entire day in front of the television screen? Why? Because today has been America’s best day in months, years, possibly a decade or two. Today was a day for celebration, renewal, a vision of what can be.

We survived January 6, 2021 — two weeks ago, the darkest day in our country in many, many years.

I remember 9-11 all too well. I don’t actually remember Pearl Harbor, but I, then a small child, was in the back seat of my parents’ car on December 7, 1941. We were on our way “Home” to Tennessee to spend Christmas with family. My father, the historian, made sure I knew what happened that day so that I would never forget.

Remember Pearl Harbor!

Throughout the war, we children were taught to “Remember Pearl Harbor!” We sang Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition! and Nothing Can Stop the Army Air Corps!

I remember April 12, 1945, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia. More vivid is V-J Day four months later, August 14, 1945. I understood we had won “THE WAR.” Only 8-years-old, I “got it.” I still do! My friends and I marched up and down the sidewalk along 6th Avenue in East Denver, banging pots and pans and shouting to the people riding the Number 6 streetcar home from work: “The War’s Over, the War’s Over!”

November 22, 1963

On November 22, 1963, I was a reporter for The Detroit News. It was Friday and we in the Women’s Department on the 4th floor were putting the finishing touches on the Sunday Front Page and the rest of the 16-page Women’s Section. Two floors down in the City Room, my husband of 10 months was the man standing in the door to the teletype room when the machines — all at once — started their loud clacking. He pulled the AP wire from the teletype machine and scanned the message. Kennedy Shot in Dallas.

All hell broke loose in the City Room. The news spread rapidly to the 4th floor and the rest of the building. In spite of the shock and the tears in our eyes we, the staff of the Women’s Department, went back to work that awful Friday afternoon. We tore up the already laid out pages and began replacing the photos and the stories we had spent the week writing.

Our hastily written new stories and bunches of photos of President John F. Kennedy focused on the man and his family, not the politics nor the carnage. We left that to the City Room. We put the Sunday Women’s Section to bed on deadline! 5 pm! I went home and got drunk. My husband had to put me to bed, sobbing my heart out.

King, Bobby Kennedy, Wallace, Ford, Reagan

I remember 1968 when, in two months’ time, we lost both Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. I remember when George Wallace was shot. I remember President Ford’s brush with assassination, and the day President Reagan was shot. Will it never end!!!

And of course it hasn’t. On January 6, 2021, an angry mob attacked “The People’s House” with the intent to harm or kill the dedicated souls of BOTH parties who “do” the country’s work — the men and women of our House of Representatives and the Senate, and our Vice President!

Not since August 1814 had the U.S. Capitol been breached by the enemy. That time, it was a foreign power, the British from across the sea. But on this January 6, it was citizens of this, our very own country. Vicious sedition on the part of men and women who are fully endowed with the privilege of being born Americans, who have inherited all the amazing rights American citizenship gives us and all that those rights mean. Still, they spit on, violated what their America, our America stands for.

Freedom of Speech, Not Freedom to Maim and Kill

They could have protested peacefully and still gotten their voice heard and their message across! But Freedom of Speech does not, to my knowledge, include the right to maim and kill!

We Americans — all Americans — are the most fortunate, blessed people in the world. So WHY?!

They were disgruntled?!! Bull pucky! Aren’t we all, over events we cannot control? Covid, for God’s sake — we ALL are threatened by it! We ALL must deal with it. And we, most of us, good citizens of these United States are dealing with it the best we can. Get a grip, people! Agents of change must be positive and focused on being and doing better.

Now, the events of today — January 20, 2021 — are the beginnings of the washing away of that awful stain. Our new, validly-elected — yes the election was fair and square — President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, by being open and honest and genuine, have shown and will show us a way forward without throwing away What Has Worked For Us For 232 Years!!!

Is There a Balm in Gilead? — It’s Called Hope

Today, three former Presidents, each of whom served two terms for their country, gave their blessing to the nation’s peaceful transition of power — which all three, representing BOTH parties, had seen and had experienced in each of their terms: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Jimmie Carter, the elder Patriot-President, unable to attend due to his health, sent his blessing.

We are Americans, we are patriots, we love our country and what it stands for. We believe in America and who we are and what we can be — if we work together.

That’s America!

God Bless America!

Thank you Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. May God be with you.

Remember Pearl Harbor! Remember 9-11! Sing the Star Spangled Banner with all  your heart and salute Old Glory like you meant it. That’s what it means to be an American!

* * * * *

Thank you for reading my blog – a bit of a switch from what you’re used to seeing here. And STAY SAFE! Wear your Mask. Keep your distance. And, oh yes, please think about buying one of my books! I write about the dedicated and very patriotic women pilots of World War II.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Sarah+Byrn+Rickman

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Showing 5 comments
  • Carol Ann benson
    Reply

    Beautifully written. Been feeling so relieved, but also know there is a lot more to be accomplished. Thank you!

  • Cindi M Carroll
    Reply

    Well said, Sarah!

    • sarahbyrn
      Reply

      Thanks Cindi!

      SR

  • Bonnie Loudner
    Reply

    Hi Sarah
    Good read!

  • Kris Burnosky
    Reply

    Beautiful Sarah! I was wondering if my mom was working in the Women’s Department that day too.

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