The First Lady says her heart installation is her “surprise Valentine message to the country”
First Lady Jill Biden has added some temporary new structures to the North Lawn of the White House in honor of the upcoming holiday: large heart installations that offer messages of hope. The hearts are in the style of “conversation hearts,” the popular candy we all know and love. This morning she and President Joe Biden talked about Valentine’s Day and what it means this year in particular to Americans who are struggling amid the pandemic.
With words like “hope,” “compassion,” “unity,” and “courage” displayed on the large heart installations, the cheerful display is a welcome sight during a long, hard winter.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images
When asked what inspired the First Lady to create the artistic holiday display, she responded, “I just wanted some joy … With the pandemic, just everybody’s feeling a little down. So, it’s just a little joy. A little hope. That’s all.”
Reporter: What inspired you to organize this Valentine's Day art installation at the White House?
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden: "I just wanted some joy … With the pandemic, just everybody's feeling a little down. So, it's just a little joy. A little hope. That's all." pic.twitter.com/FuZ9yd7WUU
Watching the President and First Lady enjoy their cup of morning coffee on the White House lawn with their dogs, welcoming reporters and showing off a very sweet holiday project, is almost jarring after four years of…whatever the extreme opposite of that is. The President even noted that Valentine’s Day is his wife’s favorite holiday while looking at her with love and admiration for her efforts. It’s honestly…nice? Like, very nice.
Healing Courage Love Compassion Gratitude Peace Amor Strength Kindness Family Unity
In a statement to reporters, the first lady’s office said the conversation hearts are a nod “back to the days of sharing candy hearts between friends and family.”
“As you may know, the First Lady is known for her sense of humor, love of surprises, and celebrating traditions, especially with her family,” the statement continued. “Valentine’s Day has always been one of her favorite holidays. Sending messages of healing, unity, hope and compassion, this is her Valentine to the country.”
During the Presidential lawn chat, Biden recalled his first Valentine’s Day as VP, where Jill apparently placed a heart in each windowpane of his office that read “Joe loves Jill.”
BRB, it’s a little dusty in here. Because even just small tokens of love and respect and…normalcy have felt so far away, for so long, it feels almost overwhelming to see a President and First Lady who love one another and their country very, very much. Not to mention the project in general is just a very warm, very teacher-y thing to do and you just have to love it.
It seems like a lot of people around the country feel similarly, given the social media response.
I just burst into tears when I saw this. Guess I’m not used to anything kind coming from the WH.
President Biden has been hard at work on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing many Trump-era executive orders that were shrouded in racism and xenophobia, trying to eliminate student debt relief (more is more, Mr. President), and remaining steadfast in his no-nonsense, direct, honest communication with the American people. He’s been in office for less than a month. And while he has a very long, very hard road ahead of him, watching the Bidens embrace a favorite holiday and include the entire country in it felt like a deserved respite for a moment.
“Tell them there is hope. There is hope. Stay strong,” President Biden told White House reporters, who asked how he’d texted his Valentine wishes to the rest of the country during such a tough time.
When asked about his Valentine’s Day gift for the First Lady, he made sure everyone knows he still has a couple of days to come up with something. “Well it’s not Valentine’s Day,” he joked. “I’m not telling you.”