The Inauguration of Joe Biden
January 21, 2021
There is something so sacred about an inauguration — in a way, it feels as though you are attending a religious ceremony. As president-elect Joe Biden placed his hand on a 127 – year-old bible and swore to faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States of America, there was certainly a sanctifying disposition in the air. Of course, this was an inauguration like no other. The tension in the air was high, which was no surprise seeing that this event followed the storming of the capitol. However, with a heightened security of more than 20,000 National Guard members, along with a new, well-respected president, the inauguration turned out to be a beautiful event that welcomed Joseph R. Biden into his current position as president of the United States of America.
Here are the highlights of how the ceremony unraveled:
8:45 AM – Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Kamala Harris, and Doug Emhoff attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
Fun fact: Biden is only the second American president to be Catholic. When attending mass, he also invited Republican senators, including Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell to join. Among the people who attended the church service were also Democratic representatives Nancy Pelosi, and Kevin McCarthy. The cooperation of both parties — left and right, ties into the main theme of Biden’s speech: Unity.
10: 30 AM – The President-elect, Dr. Biden, the Vice president-elect, and Mr. Emhoff arrived at the United States Capitol
A little later in the morning, the swearing-in took place on the West Front of the Capitol at Washington. Mike Pence also chose to attend Biden’s inauguration despite the fact that Donald Trump, chose not to.
11:37 AM – Lady Gaga performs the National Anthem
Lady Gaga did an amazing job singing the national anthem. Singer-songwriter Charlie Puth wrote on Twitter “And Gaga arrangement was giving me Whitney 1991 vibes. What a great day!!”
When Gaga was singing the line “and our flag was still there” she made a gesture towards the capitol building, which was undoubtedly a stab at the fact that despite the insurrection from Pro-Trump terrorists, the flag and the capitol still stood for the inauguration of our new president.
11:42 AM – Andrea Hall lead the pledge of allegiance
Firefighter Andrea Hall led the pledge of allegiance in both sign language and spoken English.
11:42 AM – Kamila Harris takes the oath of office and is sworn in as Vice President
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath.
11:45 AM – J-Lo performs a medley of American favorites
At 11:45, Jennifer Lopez performed a mashup of “This Land is Your Land”, and “America the Beautiful”. She also included a small snippet of Spanish as she shouted out “Let’s get loud!” towards the end of her song. This decision resulted in mixed reactions from Americans on Twitter. On one hand, there were plenty of people praising her for adding Spanish into a very patriotic song. On the other hand, some people thought it was inappropriate/informal to shout out “Let’s get loud!” During ceremony as important as the inauguration performance.
11:49 AM – Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States
This was the long-awaited moment that needs no explanation: President Biden was sworn in by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: John Roberts.
2:00 PM – Joe Biden delivered his inaugural address and called for Unity
It is no secret that this year’s election has divided our country in many different ways. Especially after the storming of the capitol, it was hard to think of our country as a singular nation. Joe Biden made the underlying theme of his speech Unity, which was a wise topic to choose after viewing what happened at capitol.
“For without unity, there’s no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only state of chaos… this is our historic moment of crisis and challenge…unity is the path forward.”
Biden did not explicitly mention his predecessor Donald Trump in his speech — who was the first president in over 150 years not to attend his predecessor’s inauguration. He did, however, make it clear that no matter what party you voted for, he would fight for you throughout his presidency.
“To all of those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably…is perhaps this nation’s greatest strength.”
Biden also took a moment of silence at the end of his speech to honor those lost to the Coronavirus over the past year.
Harvard graduate Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet from LA California made history as the youngest inaugural poet on January 20, 2020. Her poem “The Hill we Climb” stole the show at the inauguration, and spread a message of hope and purpose to Americans everywhere-
“For there is always light,/ if only we’re brave enough to see it/ If only we’re brave enough to be it”
When Gorman first started writing this poem, she had some trouble finding the right words. However, after hearing about the Pro-Trump terrorists storming into Congress, the words came naturally to her as she stayed up late at night finishing the rest of her poem.
“Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy/And this effort very nearly succeeded/ But while democracy can be periodically delayed/ it can never be permanently defeated”
Amanda Gorman also plans on running for president in 2036 and former president Barack Obama’s response to that was: “I for one, can’t wait.”
1:30 PM – Senate House leaders presented congressional gifts to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
2:00 PM – President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reviewed the readiness of military troops
2:09 PM – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris departed from the Capitol
2:40 PM – President Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and their Spouses took part in a wreath-laying ceremony
This ceremony took place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama also attended the ceremony to witness this historical moment.
3:15 PM – The President, Vice President, and their spouses received a Presidential Escort to the White House
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is now officially the President of the United States of America, and we can only wait to see what the next four years have to offer.