Joe Biden takes oath as the 46th President of the United States
Joseph R. Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021, in front of the United States Capitol. Kamala Harris took the oath of office 30 minutes before, making history as the first female and African American vice president. Despite months of controversial opinions regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, the electoral votes were certified.
After the farewell of former President Trump, guests began arriving at the Capitol around 10 a.m., with the inauguration ceremony beginning at 11:30. After the storming of the Capitol only two weeks earlier, members of the National Guard from all over America were called up for extra security during the inauguration.
Hundreds of thousands of guests normally attend presidential inaugurations. However, due to health concerns with COVID-19, less than 1,000 socially distanced guests were invited. Attendees included former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, along with justices of the Supreme Court and senior members of Congress. However, former President Donald Trump was not present at the inauguration, becoming the first president since Andrew Jackson to forgo a successor’s inauguration.
The inauguration ceremony began with Amy Klobuchar, the Democratic Senator of Minnesota, giving a welcoming speech. Father Leo O’Donovan, a family friend of Biden, then delivered the invocation. Next, American pop artist Lady Gaga performed the national anthem.
Moments after the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance, Kamala Harris was sworn in as the 49th Vice President of the United States. Harris served as a senator for five years before running for VP with Biden. Next in the ceremony, Jennifer Lopez sang “This Land is Your Land,” by Woody Gurthrie, an American classic sung at many past inaugurations, including the inauguration of Barack Obama.
The highlight of the ceremony began as Biden took the oath of office, beginning his journey as the 46th President of the United States. Placing his hand on an old family Bible, the President was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Newly inaugurated President Biden began his first formal address to the American people. The theme of his speech was unity, encouraging America to put away her differences and unify as a nation.
His key message was that if America works together, it will not fail. Then Biden painted the image of America he wants to see in the next four years as the president.
After the President’s speech, country singer Garth Brooks performed “Amazing Grace,” and Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” to the American people.
To conclude the inauguration ceremony, Reverend Silvester Beaman delivered the benediction. From there, President Biden and Vice President Harris journeyed to the inaugural signing in the President’s room just off the Senate chamber in the U.S. Capitol Building. Now that the uncertainty of the election process has passed, this new administration begins the arduous task of implementing their campaign policies.