On Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in front of the United States capitol President Joseph R. Biden was sworn into office as the 46th president
On Wednesday morning, America received a new executive administration. As former president Donald Trump made his way to his home in Florida, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office in front of the United States capitol just before 12:00 p.m. EST.
The events began yesterday as D.C. placed a sea of flags on the national mall in place of what would have been a crowd to honor those lives lost to COVID-19.
President Joe Biden took the stage with his family and Chief Justice John Roberts around 11:45 p.m. EST on Wednesday. Immediately following, the president delivered his inaugural address.
Though Trump was absent from the day, the Biden and Harris families were joined by former presidents Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton, all with their respective spouses. Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife were also in attendance.
Just before the president was inaugurated, Justice Sonia Sotomayor swore in Vice President Kamala Harris just before 11:40 p.m. EST.
The ceremony began shortly after 8 a.m. EST with Lady Gaga performing the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance, followed by Jennifer Lopez singing a rendition of, “This Land is Your Land” and Garth Brooks performing, “Amazing Grace.”
The inauguration also featured Amanda Gormam, as America’s first poet laureate, who spoke of putting difference aside to come together. Finally, Delaware pastor Rev. Silverster Beaman delivered the benediction and focused on calling on the American people to be healed and to be about love and unity.
The central focus of the events was the inaugural speech.
“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day,” President Biden began his speech. He started by speaking about how America has made great progress to becoming the nation it seeks to be, but has a long way to go.
President Biden went on to talk about all the challenges he will face upon entering office, including the pandemic, the rise of extremism and the downturn economy he will be inheriting.
The president began to speak about the actions he wanted to take in response, which include opening the economy and getting children back to school and individuals back to their jobs.
“Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism… have long torn us apart,” said the president commenting on the current division in the nation. The president then called for unity.
President Biden went on to speak about unifying figures and moments in history such as Abraham Lincoln signing the emancipation proclamation, MLK’s march and the women’s protest for the right to vote.
“To all those who do not support us, let me say this, hear me out as we move forward,” urged the President.
The president then quoted St. Augustine, who spoke about people being defined by what they love in common, which are American values such as respect, opportunity, the truth and honor.
He spoke to the concern about what comes next after the pandemic and assured them that, “We must end this uncivil war.”
“We are entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus,” continued Biden while speaking about how he hopes to approach the virus in one nation.
To speak to foreign nations he said that, “We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again,” presumably speaking to many of the treaties President Trump had either changed or removed America from like the Paris Climate Accords.
The president then asked Americans to say a prayer for those we have lost during the pandemic. He expanded upon this by stating to also continue to work and pray for the unfolding of an America that will bring hope not fear.
“May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrived… May God bless America and may God protect our troops,” President Biden concluded.
Biden’s first steps in office will be dealing with the American economy, handling COVID-19 and bringing the country together. The president takes office with his party in full control of the legislative and executive branches. He expects to sign a variety of executive orders within the next few days.