President-elect Joe Biden began the series of events for his Inauguration with a memorial ceremony on Tuesday for the 400,000 deaths from the Chinese coronavirus.
“To heal we must remember, and it’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal,” Biden said after taking the podium in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
Biden only spoke briefly from a teleprompter before holding a moment of silence for the lives lost in the pandemic.
“For many months we have grieved by ourselves, tonight we grieve and begin healing together,” Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris noted, adding that even though Americans during the pandemic were “physically separated” they were “united in spirit.”
The event kicked off Biden’s inauguration on a mournful note.
Four hundred lights were set up along the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool to represent the 400,000 lives lost.
Lori Marie Key, a nurse whose video of her singing Amazing Grace at work went viral, sang the same song for the vice president at the memorial. Another singer sang the song “Hallelujah” as the two families stood and faced the reflecting pool silently.
Biden praised all nurses for their efforts during the pandemic.
“If there are any angels in heaven, they are all nurses,” he said.