The 46th President of the United States Joseph R. Biden was inaugurated at noon today in Washington, D.C., a day he called “America’s day.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the Ranking Member of the Rules Committee, began the ceremonies with a brief speech, citing the inauguration as a “culmination of 244 years of Democracy.” Klobuchar said the events at the Capitol two weeks ago awakened the American people to their responsibilities, and thus, the election of Harris and Biden marked a new chapter, one where “little girls and boys across the world will know that anything and everything is possible.”
President Biden is the oldest president in United States history at 78 years old and began his career when he was elected senator of Delaware at age 29. He addressed the nation in his first presidential address after his swearing-in, hailing the event as the triumph of a cause – the triumph of democracy.
Biden spoke of the importance of unity going forward as a nation. In striving toward unity, he said America can “set sights on a nation we know we can be and we must be.” With this unity, he said, America can achieve great things. He highlighted the path toward unity: listening, hearing, and respecting one another, while still being able to disagree. In an ideal, unified United States, he said, people will look out for the public good rather than personal gain.
Biden said that few have endured all that the United States has in recent times, saying, “we will confront and defeat” domestic terrorism and white supremacy, and acknowledged the continued threat of the pandemic, but asserted, “we will get through this together!”
25,000 National Guard troops were deployed to the streets as a result of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, according to the New York Times. A “field of flags” represented those who couldn’t be present due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Former President Donald Trump broke the tradition of attending the inauguration and left the White House earlier this morning, the first time a president has done so since 1869. Former Vice President Mike Pence was present as his position was turned over to Kamala Harris, the first woman of color to be Vice President.
Former President Donald Trump became the first president to be impeached twice on Jan. 13, this time for inciting the insurrection that took place two weeks ago at the Capitol Building, according to NPR. In his final speech at Joint Base Andrews, Trump did not mention Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, though he wished the administration “great luck and success.” Trump also said “we will be back,” potentially alluding to a 2024 candidacy during his speech, but many of his allies have warned him not to run again in 2024, per Politico.
A number of officials present at the inauguration were suited with body armor as a precaution. Eugene Goodman, a Capitol Police Officer who helped protect the senators under attack at the Capitol Building, received recognition for his efforts and escorted Vice President Kamala Harris into the ceremony.
As the 46th president concluded with a message for the nation and the world beyond: “America has been tested and will come out stronger for it.”
Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool