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Local women call Inauguration “history-making,” after first female Vice President is sworn into office

Kamala Harris is the first Black woman and the first South Asian American to hold the position.
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 6:13 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “It’s a tremendous day in history,” said retired 17th Judicial Circuit Court Judge, Rosemary Collins.

Collins called Wednesday’s swearing in of Kamala Harris as Vice President amazing, forcing a flood of emotions.

“My mother was born before women had the right to vote, and she died about 2 years ago,” said Collins. “And she said to me right before she died, I just wish I could have lived long enough to see a woman in the White House.”

Harris is not only the first woman to hold the position as Vice President. She’s the first Black woman and the first South Asian American. Elaine Hirschenberger, co-founder of Womanspace in Rockford, also watched the ceremony in awe.

“I was so overwhelmed, moved and just exultant,” said Hirschenberger.

After the events at the Capitol on January 6, Hirschenberger said it’s nice to return the dignity to this symbol of American democracy.

“It has been so depressing and dragging people’s spirit down,” said Hirschenberger. “And today, I just felt such a sense of buoyancy, and optimism.”

Both women said this administration can change our democracy to one that is multiracial and gives a stronger voice to the working class. It also tells all generations that anything is possible in the United States.

“There’s no limit to what you can do. You’re not limited because of your gender or your race,” said Collins. “You’re only limited by your own hopes and expectations.”

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