Joe Biden sworn in as 46th President of the United States.
The presidential inauguration looked a bit different this year as Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
Although less people were in attendance due to the COVID pandemic and security was heightened as a precaution after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, many of the American inaugural traditions were able to remain the same.
Around 11 a.m. the swearing ceremony began. An invocation was read by the Rev. Leo J. O’Donovan, a Jesuit priest, former president of Georgetown University, and a close friend of Biden’s.
Biden was sworn in with a 127-year-old, 5 inch thick family Bible.
Harris was sworn in with two Bibles, one that belonged to a family friend, and one that belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the country’s first African American Supreme Court justice.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Justice, swore in Harris.
Many celebrities and notable people made an appearance at the inauguration including Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and Garth Brooks. Also in attendance was most of Congress and the Supreme Court Justices. Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and Laura Bush, and Barack and Michelle Obama also made appearances at the inauguration.
Jimmy Carter, the oldest living former president at 96 years old, and his wife Rosalynn could not make it, but they sent their “best wishes.”
Andrea Hall, the first American female captain of the First Rescue Department in South Fulton, Georgia, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Lady Gaga performed the National Anthem.
Gaga and Biden have worked together in the past to fight sexual violence.
Amanda Gorman recited a poem she wrote, titled “The Hill We Climb.” Gorman, the country’s first Youth Poet Laureate, has worked to overcome a speech impediment, similar to President Biden. Jennifer Lopez performed “This Land is My Land” and Garth Brooks, who also performed at the 2009 inauguration for Obama, performed “Amazing Grace.”
Former President Donald Trump did not attend the inauguration ceremony. Trump and Melania, went from the White House to Joint Base Andrews Wednesday prior to the ceremony heading to their home in Florida.
Biden announced that Trump left him a ‘very generous letter’ before his departure. The details of what were in the note were not disclosed, but a senior Trump aide described the letter as a personal note that prays for the success of the country and the new administration to care for the country.
Former Vice-President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, did attend the inauguration ceremony. Kamala Harris and her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, stood on the U.S. Capitol steps with the Pence’s while the two couples chatted and prepared for the transition.
The University of Dayton community also shared in witnessing and reflecting upon a historic moment for the country.
“I join in wishing the new president and vice president well, and I offer my prayers that the new administration and Congress will work together to strengthen our common bonds as Americans and address the challenges we face as a country,” President Eric Spina said.
“I note, in particular, the inauguration of the first Black woman elected to national office as an important milestone and additional evidence of the gender and racial equality that can open the American dream to all and make us stronger.”
UD’s College Republicans also found meaning in Wednesday’s inauguration reflecting on the greatness of the country’s democracy.
“Joe Biden’s inauguration marks another peaceful transition of power necessary to uphold our democracy,” the organization stated.
“Congrats to President Biden. We hope that he will work across the aisle to solve issues in a bipartisan manner. As an organization, we remain committed to upholding conservative values and supporting Republican candidates for office at every level.”