Hours after being sworn in as the 49th Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris gave a speech telling America, “We will rise up.”
During the “Celebrating America” special Wednesday night, Harris gave her first address as vice president, expressing optimism for the future of our nation.
“Good evening. It is my honor to be here, to stand on the shoulders of those who came before, to speak tonight as your vice president,” she began.
Though 2020 was a difficult year — in which Americans battled a global pandemic and engaged in protests against systemic racism — Harris said she is unwavering in her belief that “we shall overcome” whatever obstacles lie in our way.
“In many ways, this moment embodies our character as a nation. It demonstrates who we are, even in dark times. We not only dream, we do,” she said. “We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, fearless, and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up.”
While citing civil rights leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the women of the suffrage movement, Harris says “American aspiration” is what will propel the country to prosperity during her and President Joe Biden’s tenure.
“The same determination is being realized in America today. I see it in the scientists who are transforming the future,” she said. “I see it in the parents who are nurturing generations to come, in the innovators and the educators, in everyone everywhere who is building a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities.”
She concluded, “This, too, is American aspiration. This is what President Joe Biden has called upon us to summon now. The courage to see beyond crisis, to do what is hard, to do what is good, to unite, to believe in ourselves, believe in our country, believe in what we can do together. Thank you, and may God bless America.”
We must believe in ourselves, believe in our country, and believe in what we can do—together. pic.twitter.com/C49lUCxw0d— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) January 21, 2021
On her first day in office, Harris — who is the first Black, Asian American and woman vice president in U.S. history — swore in three new Senators: Alex Padilla from California, who is taking Harris’ seat in the Senate, and Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff from Georgia, two Democrats who won heated Senate runoff races earlier this month.