In her first remarks to the nation as US Vice President, Kamala Harris has highlighted “American aspiration” and underlined that President Joe Biden has summoned the people to look beyond crisis and aspire to unite.
Harris, 56, made history on Wednesday when she was sworn in as the first female, first black and first Asian-American US vice-president. The former senator was sworn in just before Biden took the oath of office to become the 46th US President.
“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. 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. This is American aspiration,” Harris said outside the Lincoln Memorial.
She cited the accomplishments of President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, who “saw a better future and built it with land grant colleges, and the transcontinental railroad.”
She also highlighted how Martin Luther King Jr. fought for racial and economic justice.
Harris said a great experiment, takes great determination. The will to do the work and then the wisdom to keep refining, keep tinkering, keep perfecting. The same determination is being realised in America today, Harris noted.
“I see it in the scientists who are transforming the future. I see it in the parents who are nurturing generations to come and in the innovators, the educators, in everyone, everywhere who is building a better life for themselves, their families and their communities.
“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,” Harris said.
Prior to taking the oath at the US Capitol, Harris paid tribute to the women who she says came before her.
“I stand on their shoulders,” she said in a video.