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What does Joe Biden’s inauguration mean to you?

For the inauguration ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden, approximately 191,500 US flags were placed on the National Mall to represent the Americans who are unable to travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the ceremony.
For the inauguration ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden, approximately 191,500 US flags were placed on the National Mall to represent the Americans who are unable to travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the ceremony.JOE RAEDLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

One of the definitions of inaugurate is “to bring about the beginning of.” What do you see Joe Biden’s presidential term putting in motion in the days and years ahead? And what do you hope to start in your own life to promote that vision?

Please share your thoughts, in four or five sentences, in the box below and then read on to see a sampling of other reader responses.

Some submissions may be edited for length and clarity if they appear in the Globe Opinion section.

A selection of reader responses:

I see a return to serious governing, a renewed focus on environmental issues, and regained respect. I hope to see Congress codifying longstanding traditions so that no future president will ignore them as well as new and strong ethics rules. — Gracie Lucier


To me, President Biden’s inauguration means the end of four very dark years in American history. I’m not naive — there are deep fractures in our national political landscape, and there’s no magic wand to be waved that might fix them. I hope that as the more-experienced Biden appointees are confirmed and get to work, all Americans will begin to appreciate and enjoy how government can work to make all our lives better and protect our rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” — Lew Sheen

First and foremost: Let Americans stand tall again. Get control over COVID-19 so that our children, the future of our country, can continue their education for a better tomorrow. — Sarah Gutierrez

I am heartened by all the inauguration speakers, especially Joe Biden, as he called forth respect for our shared humanity. I am also inspired by the team of thinkers and doers he is bringing together, and realize that whatever I do in my community, it will be better done together. — Wendy Prellwitz


Rebuilding unity in our nation. Our current divisiveness is corrosive. With Trump gone, perhaps the vitriol he and his enablers spread will diminish, and the rest of us can get on with rebuilding. I’ll do my part in whatever forums. — Don Carlson

Waking up not apprehensive about what damage was rendered in our democracy for the first time in four years enables me and my husband to plan a future that focuses on the well-being of our community and ourselves. — Barbara Hageman

I see a return to integrity in the White House, our government recognizing the importance of climate change, a return to membership in the Paris Agreement, and a steadier hand at the wheel in the presidency. — Trudy Harney

The restoration of hope and renewal of America. I will advocate for improvement of life after the COVID-19 epidemic and the Trump American carnage. — Steven Ludsin

A return to civility and respect for our institutions of democracy. A fundamental understanding of the benefits of scientific scholarship and information. Hopefully the beginning of a balancing of wealth and opportunity. A global approach to addressing climate change in a real way, including bringing industry to task for pollution and not bowing to the bottom line while sacrificing our future. A welcoming attitude toward immigrants and refugees. And a renewed hope for us all. — Amelia Blount

This is the start of a sustained effort to heal the divides in our nation. For me personally, the last four years were punctuated by the work to make today happen. Over the next four years (and probably for the rest of my life) I intend to work and organize for ways to facilitate national healing: civics education, racial justice and equity, rebuilding the country’s faith in our institutions, etc. This healing will undoubtedly take more than four years, but it starts today. — Alexandra Elliott


Restoration of truth, honesty, and integrity to the POTUS. I realize now that I have to be more active in politics, support what I believe, and make our political process more participatory at all levels. — Ivan Colon

I believe we will see some real progress in managing the climate change crisis. I also believe we will see more willingness to combat race-based prejudice in law enforcement and in general. For myself, I will look at ways to have a smaller carbon footprint and will seek out ways to help with racial justice. — Julia Harper

A return to integrity in the presidency. — Donna Drvaric

I see Joe Biden promoting decency for all people, respect for the rule of law, and restoring science and truth as the standards by which important facts are measured. In my own life, I hope to become more involved in ways I can promote civil rights, and contribute to ending food hunger. — Rudy Termini

His term will hopefully translate into a return to decency, humility, and a mandate for putting others’ well-being before our own. It hopefully means a return to feeling proud of America, warts and all, without being a bully and a braggart. I see my relatively minor role as that of a facilitator in this process, recognizing that a vision is only sustained when I am holding my neighbor’s hand. As Lincoln stated so eloquently, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” — Kathy Norris