Nothing terrible happened today.
Both of these statements are about the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.
I heard a story that earlier today, a public school staffer allegedly told a history teacher not to show students a live feed of the inauguration, in case something terrible happened. And only two weeks — two long-seeming weeks, but two weeks — after the actual terrorist attack which stormed the very Capitol Building where the inauguration took place, this was not an unreasonable worry. We've heard of schools showing the space shuttle Challenger launch in 1986; what if a horrifying historic event happened today on live television, too?
But, from all signs, the precautions — small crowds, vigilant law enforcement officers and military troops, vetting to be sure people working the event were not posting in QAnon forums — worked. The inauguration was peaceful.
And the inauguration was lovely. Speeches tinged with relief and hope: we've been through so much, but we can do better and get better from here. Longtime friends and colleagues fist-bumping each other. A poem, written and performed by 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman, which made me tear up. Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez singing in ways both epic and intimate. Blue skies giving brightness to all of the people on that stage.
Our new President and our new Vice-President are sworn in. They have a grasp of the enormity of the job ahead of them, and want to do that job as well as they can. They got to this point safely, finally.
What else can be good from here? And what else can be not-terrible?