Just two weeks after the constitution and democracy were tested by a deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol building and only one week after former President Donald J. Trump was impeached for a historic second time, the world watches as President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is sworn in as the nation’s 46th president.
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar opened the ceremony with a celebration for the President and Vice President-elect and words of encouragement for the nation. In her speech, which was later tweeted, the Minnesota senator rallied for the nation to heal and rebuild its democracy.
“This is the day our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust, and does what America always does: goes forward as a nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” Klobuchar tweeted.
In keeping with tradition, bipartisan unity was on display at the capitol with former Republican Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and former presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton. The show of solidarity comes as former president Donald Trump broke custom and refused to attend the new administration’s swearing-in ceremony.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to hold a justice seat, swore in the new Vice President. Using the Bible of civil rights leader and first African American to serve on the supreme court, Justice Thurgood Marshall swore in Kamala Harris as she took the oath of office. She became the country’s first-ever African American and South Asian American woman to hold the seat.
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With the help of Biden’s century-old family Bible, Chief Justice John Roberts swore Biden into the President of the United States’ office. The President’s late son, Beau Biden, also used the Bible when he was sworn into Delaware’s attorney general.
In his 21-minute inauguration speech, President Joe Biden speaks to the country’s internal conflict, domestic terrorist, and Trump’s divisive rhetoric. He held a moment of silence for Americans who have lost their lives due to the pandemic. The President also makes a declaration to the nation’s allies and partnerships with the rest of the world.
“We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again, not to meet yesterday’s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges,” the new President said.
Facing historic challenges such as a pandemic, insurrection against the government, the economy, and racial divides, President Joe Biden inherits a country on the mend. Plagued by a previous administration that stoked the flames of anarchy, the Biden administration must first unite the country and curve the rising rates of a deadly pandemic.
“We need all our strength to persevere this dark winter,” President Biden says.
Inauguration Day started at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostol for a private worship service alongside First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and the Second Family. Also present was Senator Ted Cruz, who has been open about his support in the Trump administration, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, just weeks after insurgents raided the House and stole the speaker’s laptop and podium. A visual representation of exchanging powers, as the now-president arrived at church, former president Donald Trump left Washington D.C. on Air Force One for the final time destined for Florida.
Following the inauguration, the new President and vice president, together with their families and former presidents Obama, Clinton, and George W. Bush, will visit Arlington National Cemetery, where they will lay a wreath the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.