Folks In Awe Of Georgia Fire Captain Who Both Recited And Signed Pledge Of Allegiance During Inauguration
Andrea Hall is the the first Black woman promoted to fire captain in the history of the City of South Fulton Fire Rescue Department.
January 21, 2021 at 2:34 pm
Georgia firefighter Andrea Hall led the country in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday, performing a moving rendition of it in both spoken word and sign language.
In interviews with the press before the inauguration, it was revealed that Hall made history as the first Black woman to be promoted to fire captain within the South Fulton Fire Rescue Department in Georgia. She is also president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 3920, which supported Biden during the election.
Firefighter Andrea Hall led the inauguration Pledge of Allegiance before Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in. pic.twitter.com/poOPUoQM3V— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 20, 2021
Hall took the stage after Lady Gaga sang the national anthem, and many online were moved by Hall's rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance.
In an interview with 11Alive before the inauguration, Hall said she was "thrilled and humbled to represent firefighters and other frontline workers in the state of Georgia and the city of South Fulton.”
“It is a privilege and an honor to help usher in a new chapter of leadership for our country,” she added, telling the news outlet that Biden's inauguration team and the general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters both asked her to come to the ceremony and perform the pledge.
She's been a firefighter for 28 years.
South Fulton Mayor William Edwards said the entire town was proud of Hall.
“She represents the best city staff in the state and it is only fitting that she lead our nation in the pledge,” he told 11Alive.
Hall also spoke to CNN before the inauguration, telling them that she was promoted to captain in 2004 and wanted to do anything she could to unite the country at a time of immense division.
“Everything it expresses, I want to embody that in that moment. And just making sure that I am representing my family, my professional family here in South Fulton, representing the nation, and making sure that they understand the passion from which I speak those words about being indivisible as a nation...because that's what it's going to take to move our country forward,” she said.
“This is really about the firefighters and the frontline workers who represent our industry in this country. It is about Fulton and the people who I represent here in the community of people that we serve. It's really about us being on the precipice of moving our country forward to a more united place,” she added.
She became the first female firefighter when she joined the force in Albany, Georgia, in 1993, eventually moving over to the South Fulton Fire Rescue Department in 1999.
The 47-year-old noted how difficult it was to be the first, but said that those who come first have to think outside of themselves and consider how their work will help open doors for the next wave coming behind them.
IT'S INAUGURATION EVE! Our city’s very own Fire Captain Andrea Hall will represent us in Washington, D.C. when she delivers the pledge of allegiance at the Biden-Harris Inauguration ceremony tomorrow. Watch on all major networks tomorrow morning beginning at approximately 10am. pic.twitter.com/6u8OW2A2JA— City of South Fulton (@COSFGA) January 19, 2021
She told The 19th that with being first in something, "there’s a lot of pageantry around it when it’s first announced."
"However, you are becoming the torch-bearer for everybody that’s coming behind you. You become the example — for good or bad. Being the first, you know that a lot is riding on your ability to be successful in that role,” she said.
Hall said she practiced the pledge hundreds of times before getting on stage to perform it. She brought her sister with her to the inauguration and told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she was representing far more than herself.
"I just am intending to represent, my family, the city of South Fulton, women, African-American women, firefighters and everyone in the nation, well," she said.
According to NPR, Hall's rendition was one of the first times the Pledge of Allegiance was also performed in American Sign Language.