First Baptist Church of Herndon

681 Elden St., Herndon, VA 20170-4722, Phone 703-437-3620

What I Heard

Linda Soller | Jan 25, 2021

Like millions of Americans, I watched the Presidential Inauguration, aware of the history making events. But it was what I heard that resonated with me and remains implanted in my memory.


Lady Gaga emerged from the Capital radiant but clearly humbled by what she was about to do. In moments, her strong voice began the National Anthem. And her powerful and dramatic performance made the anthem personal. Her eyes gazing at the flags and then her arms outstretched to the audience as she sang, “land of the free, and home of the brave.”


Career fire fighter/first responder Andrea Hall stepped up to the microphone composed and confident. Her clear voice was calm as she spoke and signed the pledge of allegiance so all could hear and understand the words.


Glamorous Jennifer Lopez arrived. Holding the microphone, her voice was soft and tender as she offered Woody Guthrie’s 1940 folk song. In almost a whisper she sang, “this land is your land, this land is my land…this land was made for you and me.” If you want someone to listen, you don’t have to yell.


Not long after, Garth Brooks paraded out full of energy in his cowboy hat, with his country charm. From his heart he sang Amazing Grace. Then in a very human moment he invited everyone there and at home to sing with him. I did. In doing so we were participating in the historic day.


I was not familiar with the last voice. Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laurette came to the podium. She was poised and striking in her yellow and red attire, with sparkling hair. All of 23 years old she spoke of resilience, struggle, pride, and hope. She spoke of a country where “a skinny Black girl could dream of being President one day.” Her poem The Hill We Climb struck a chord of honest resolution.


What I heard was a reminder that America is still the land of the free, and home of the brave. A land which strives to include. Your land, my land, a land made for you and me with God’s amazing grace. A land were children and adults can dream of a brighter future. That is what I heard.


God bless America, God bless us all! :o) Linda