WASHINGTON, D. C. -- The 2020 presidential election was a very long process which culminated into a less-than-usual transition of power between two Presidents. The Inauguration of President Joe Biden, Jr. on Wednesday, January 20 was not surprisingly also much different from previous years.
This historic day was special, to say the least.
The normal throngs of spectators were not in attendance because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the recent security breech at the U.S. Capitol. Instead, thousands of police and national guardsmen were on-hand to ensure the security of all in attendance including former Presidents and First Ladies Clinton, Bush, and Obama who were on hand to show their support for the new Administration.
Former president Donald Trump was the first president in more than 150 years to not attend his successor's inauguration.
The ceremony opened with greetings from inauguration co-chairs Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Senator Roy Blunt (R- Missouri) who stated “Americans have celebrated this moment during war, during depression and now during a pandemic.”
Father O’Donovan, former president of Georgetown University, led the crowd in prayers followed by performer Lady Gaga singing the National Anthem.
It was then time for Kamala Harris, the first female, African American, and Asian American to be sworn in as the Vice President. Vice President Harris was sworn in by the first Latina to serve on the United States Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor.
“It is somewhat inspirational yet haunting to think that on the steps of the same building that was overtaken by white supremacists just two weeks ago, the first African American woman was sworn in as the VP of the United States,” said Ally Stonum, Howard University student. Harris is an alumna of the University.
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts then administered the presidential oath to President Joseph Biden, Jr., the 46th president
During his inaugural address, Biden placed heavy emphasis on democracy saying, “Democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and at this hour democracy has prevailed.” The President noted that there is much to do and repair as well as restore and build in the country.
“This January day, my whole soul is to bring America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation, and I ask every American to join me in this cause,” said Biden echoing President Abraham Lincoln.
At nearby Howard University, the Tower bells tolled 49 times, in honor of the new Biden-Harris Administration.
“Moments like today watching my fellow Bison be sworn in brought me back to that idea and the inspirational people who have fought for it. It gives me a lot of hope,” said Howard junior Howard University junior, Aryana Webb
Also forgoing past tradition because of security threats, there was no inaugural parade. Instead, a military escort led President Biden to the White House where he walked in to begin signing executive orders.
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