Louth relations await cousin Joe Biden's inauguration as US President
The 20th of January saw the whole world tune into an event that would change the free world as we know it, the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, the man with more power and influence over the world than pretty much anyone on the planet.
At just after 4:20pm Irish time, a usually grandeur ceremony but now much quieter and exclusive affair got under away as President Elect Joe Biden took his first steps onto Capital Plaza overlooking the Hill now filled with thousands of Red, White and Blue flags replacing the normal scene of jubilant supporters taking up space as far as the eye could see.
On the other side of the Atlantic Sea, Andrea McKevitt, a Louth councillor who is a distant relation of Mr Biden was partaking in her own celebrations among family from the comfort of their home.
“I was at home watching with my mom, dad and sisters and then we zoom called the rest of the family, to make a party out of it” McKevitt confirmed. “It was a surreal experience, even to just be watching it on the TV. My whole family were quite emotional throughout the day.”
“My sister made a Biden cake which we cut during the inauguration ceremony and we popped open a bottle of champagne as we watched Biden became President.”
A little after 4:45pm Joe Biden took the pledge of allegiance and was sworn in as the successor to Donald Trump, and as he hugged his immediate family and got ready to make one of the most important speeches of his life, his cousins back in Ireland had excitement oozing through their veins as they came to terms with the fact a son of county Louth was in office.
“When he came out onto Capitol hill it just made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, thinking wow we are related to this guy, he’s become the president. This is such a big day for us, for him, the US and the whole world.”
“I suppose it was when he walked down the steps and was called out as President, that is when it hit us that this is our man, and this is our family involved.”
The Delaware native spoke for 20 minutes as he addressed the planet as leader of the free world for the first time and the young politician was inspired by the words of unity spoke by her now immensely powerful distant cousin.
“We’ve seen a lot of division in the States recently, he is not taking on an easy task and will be dealing with a politically and socially divided country which I’m sure will come with its challenges. But we believe Joe will rise to the task.”
The new President’s connection with the Wee county is his great-great grandfather James Finnegan who came from the Carlingford area before emigrating to the US and McKevitt was keen to stress the whole community would be celebrating the victory.
“I think the whole Cooley Peninsula have been excited given the fact his ancestors are from here; I don’t think you have to be related to Joe to feel the sense of pride in his victory. One of our own has reached the White House. From the smallest county in Ireland to the biggest office in the world.”
The Fianna Fail councillor had the American flag draped outside her home to mark the occasion and is hopeful that it will get another unfurling soon when Mr Biden visits the area as president.
“The stars and stripes have been flying here all day and I am looking forward to getting them up for his return visit. We cannot wait to see him again.”
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