In a historic moment, Kamala Harris became the first Black, South Asian woman to be sworn-in as the vice-president of the United States.
At long last, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has officially been sworn-in as the 46th President of The United States. In a scaled-back ceremony at the Capitol on Wednesday morning, President Biden vowed to "bring America together and unite our people." Flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, their families, former presidents, and Supreme Court judges, Biden declared that the "will of the people" had been heard, as he called back to the history of American endurance, hailing historic figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In contrast to Trump's departure surrounded by a maskless audience, everyone attending and present at the inauguration ceremony, including outgoing Vice President Mike Pence, was seen wearing masks and maintaining COVID-19 protocols to the best of their ability.
The ceremony began with remarks from Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican Senator Roy Blunt. The co-chairs of the committee in charge of organizing the ceremony acknowledged the violent events that took place at the Capitol this month and the importance of a peaceful transition of power, with Klobuchar saying, "This is the day when our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust and does what America always does — goes forward." Senator Blunt called for the ceremony to be considered "a moment of unification." As part of the ceremony, the national anthem was performed by Lady Gaga, while Jennifer Lopez delivered a powerful rendition of "America the Beautiful," and Garth Brooks sang "Amazing Grace."
President Biden was sworn in using a Bible that has been in his family since 1893, which was used during his swearing-in ceremonies as vice president and senator, and by his late son Beau Biden when he became attorney general of Delaware. The crowd cheered as soon as he took his oath, accompanied by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, holding the Bible and sworn in by Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.
Breaking News: Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president. With his hand on a five-inch-thick Bible that has been in his family for 128 years, President Biden recited the 35-word oath of office swearing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." https://t.co/0TE52oObpE pic.twitter.com/fzev902kN9— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 20, 2021
In a historic moment, Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first Black, South Asian woman to occupy the office of the Vice President. With her husband Doug Emhoff—who has been a constant source of support for the former Senator throughout the Biden-Harris campaign—holding the Bible, Harris was sworn-in by the first Latina U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sonya Sotomayor. The first woman, Black, and South Asian vice president swore to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." The significance of the moment and her assuming the second-highest office of the land as the first woman to do so will go down in history as a symbol of progress. CNN correspondent Abby Phillip noted that Vice President Harris wore a vibrant purple suit as a nod to Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for president in 1972.
A mere two weeks after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol following the Georgia runoff elections in which Democrats flipped the Senate, Washington D.C. witnessed a formidable military presence in anticipation of Trump supporters causing further strife despite the departure of their Supreme leader. Fortunately, the inauguration ceremony went off smoothly, signaling hope and a modicum of peace that Americans could look forward to after a chaotic four years under Donald Trump. The 45th president, in tandem with his refusal to co-operate in the peaceful transition of power and the traditional ceremonies accompanying the same, departed the White House and Washington D.C. for Mar-a-Lago, Florida, thus boycotting the inauguration ceremony of his successor—the first president in 150 years to do so.
"Hear me out, as you move forward," Biden says in his speech, later adding that if people have but still don't agree, "so be it....disagreement must not lead to disunion."— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 20, 2021
In his address to the nation, President Biden acknowledged the massive loss of lives and jobs as a result of the pandemic, as well as the Capitol riots, as he urged Americans to join his cause to pursue unity. His speech noted the disparity between American idealism and reality, and noted his commitment to racial justice and the upliftment of the working class. He declared that unity was the path forward, thanked his supporters, and said he would be a "president to all Americans." "This is democracy's day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve," said Biden after being inaugurated as President. "America has been tested anew, and America has risen to the challenge," added Biden, reported CNN. He said the "cause of democracy" is celebrated today. "The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded," added the President.