Another monumental day in American history took place on Wednesday morning. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office on the steps of the Capitol building, marking the beginning of a new administration that plans to bring change to America.
The inauguration of Joe Biden was undeniably going to differ from those of past presidents, due to the ongoing pandemic. The ceremony that usually welcomes crowds of guests was limited to around 1,000 select people. That is not to say that millions of Americans weren’t watching the inauguration virtually at home; about 40 million people were watching Joe Biden being sworn into presidency, which is one million more than the amount that watched President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Trump decided not to follow tradition in attending his successor’s inaugural ceremony, and instead took his last ride in Air Force One to Florida where he plans to live. Mike Pence did, however, support Biden and Harris by attending with his wife. Both Pence and Trump are said to have left notes for their successors in The White House, a tradition between presidents that was carried out.
Lady Gaga, a supporter of Biden during his campaign, had the honor of singing the national anthem to begin the ceremony, followed by performances from Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks. One might argue that the stand-out performance of the day, however, came from 22-year-old Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first youth poet laureate. Her poem, entitled “The Hill We Climb”, spoke of unity and the triumphs of America throughout history. It also touched on the recent events that occurred at the Capitol, wherein a group of Americans sought to disrupt America’s democracy. Gorman’s words that democracy “can never be permanently defeated” echoed across the nation.
The strong and powerful women that performed at the inauguration reflected the importance of the day as Harris became the first black vice president, the first Asian-American vice president, and the first female vice president of the United States, a point that was highlighted frequently by the speakers of the event.
Following Biden taking the oath of office, the time came for the inaugural address from the president. With poise and eloquence, Biden seamlessly delivered a speech that spoke to all Americans about the nation he is dedicated to unifying. As he stated throughout his campaign, he plans to be a president for all Americans, including those that did not support him. Biden’s address signaled a great change in the four years to come and set the precedent for Americans to mend the divide present throughout the country.