Today was unlike any other day I have ever experienced both at Loyola and online. As I walked across the quad today, I saw my fellow classmates sporting “Make America Great Again” hats and “Trump ’16” shirts. I also witnessed students proudly donning their “Black Lives Matter” or “Love Trumps Hate” apparel. It was fascinating yet at sometimes it was heartbreaking. Today means many different things for my fellow Americans and classmates. For some, the inauguration of Donald Trump as our 45th President of the United States was an occasion worth celebrating.
Trump enthusiasts flocked to Washington D.C. to witness such a historic moment and were proudly showing their support for Donald Trump. To these Americans, today meant triumph, change, and victory. These people were elated and excited to witness the reforms they wanted to happen. It was the best possible outcome for these Trump supporters.
For many other Americans, today brought upon great sadness. With Donald Trump as president, many people will no longer have affordable access to healthcare and will likely grow very ill. Some Americans will never see their loved ones again due to new immigration laws. For minorities and people of color, today is a step backwards in regard to racial progress. For women, it means potentially never again being able to walk into Planned Parenthood and receiving the important care they need.
As I looked at their somber faces I saw anguish, fear, disappointment, anger, and disbelief. But, behind all of those emotions, I saw something in their eyes that gave me great hope. Resilience and love. I watched as it developed and grew larger and stronger in each person’s eyes. It boiled and bubbled until the energy was its own tangible force that I could feel and hold onto. As the day progressed and Donald Trump was sworn into office, that energy I felt did not diminish. By the end of the day, the energy fueled those who had lost hope long ago. What I saw was a campus and nation coming together to support, love, and uplift one another. I have great hope and faith that the energy I felt today will be enough to transform and unite this divided nation.