President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Ceremony

46th President Joe Biden addresses the nation at his inauguration ceremony. Biden was sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts before his speech.

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46th President Joe Biden addresses the nation at his inauguration ceremony. Biden was sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts before his speech.

Charlotte Turner, Co-Editor in Chief

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were sworn into office as America’s 46th President and Vice President. Biden and Harris ran under the Democratic party in the 2020 election.

Harris was sworn into office before Biden by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at the U.S. Capitol. Biden was then sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

The Biden administration has been planning a scaled-down inauguration day for over two months due to the global pandemic. They planned to have a minimal crowd to attend the swearing-in ceremony and Biden’s inaugural speech.

This inauguration was unlike past presidential inaugurations: parts of the traditional schedules were taken out in order to abide to COVID-19 protocols. The luncheon with Congress and the Supreme Court, the Inaugural Parade along with the inaugural balls were kept out of the 2021 inauguration schedule. 

The parade transitioned into a virtual parade with attending members from all across the country. The inaugural ball was replaced with a television special called “Celebrating America” hosted by actor Tom Hanks. Both additions to the inauguration day were broadcasted on TV.

Along with parts of the historical sequence of inaugural events being changed, 45th President Donald Trump decided not to attend the inauguration events. This is the first time in history since America’s 17th President Andrew Johnson that the previous president has not attended the inauguration.

Trump left for Florida on the Air Force One at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. Unlike President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence attended the inauguration of Biden.

In addition to 45th Vice President Mike Pence, past presidents, such as Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush attended the ceremony. The presidents also attended with their wives, the former first ladies.

During the inauguration, singer Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem prior to Biden and Harris being sworn into office. Along with Gaga, singers Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks sang American-loved songs.

As well as the singers, Andrea Hall, the first African American female firefighter to become captain of a Fire Rescue Department recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Amanda Gormon, the country’s first Youth Poet Laureate in 2017 also read her poem “The Hill We Climb” during the ceremony.

Biden gave his address after being sworn into office with the theme of “America United.” He addressed the “divided nation” and spoke of uniting all Americans, no matter their views.

“We’ve learned again that democracy is precious.  Democracy is fragile.  And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,” Biden said.

Towards the end of the inaugural ceremony, Reverend Silvester Beaman of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware delivered a benediction. Beaman is a long time friend of the Biden family.

After the inauguration, Biden and Harris attended the part in a Pass in Review with members of the military at the Capitol. Pass in Reviews are a military tradition that honors the peaceful transfer of power.