The Story Behind the Inauguration Sign Language Pledge of Allegiance

The Story Behind the Inauguration Sign Language Pledge of Allegiance

Fire Captain Andrea Hall is President of the International Association of Firefighters Local 3920 and the first African American woman to serve as fire captain of her county in Georgia.

When she was selected to deliver the Pledge of Allegiance at the inauguration, she decided to do it in American Sign language, partly, she told the BBC, to honor her father, who was deaf.

Before she delivered the Pledge, she said, she was pretty nervous. “Here I am, sandwiched between J Lo and Lady Gaga, and I’m thinking, ‘How do you make the Pledge exciting on the heels of Lady Gaga?’

“Essentially I’m bilingual,” she said, adding that “if I spoke any other language, Japanese, or Spanish or French, I would certainly want those people that I’m connected to to be able to receive that information in our native language.”

Captain Hall pointed out that the Pledge was written for little children who were immigrants, “and in some way we’re all immigrants, you know. We’re a mishmash of people from all over. It’s a way to unify all of us,by speaking those 31 words.”

If you missed that moment on January 20, you can watch it here.

 

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