• Jamie Saito

An Inauguration Day Recap

President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris were sworn into office on Wednesday, January 20th.


Following the riots on January 6th, the Secret Service heightened its security to prepare for this historical day. More than 20,000 National Guard members were deployed in Washington D.C., and barricades were constructed around the Capitol. Last week, federal officials announced they would close the Mall for nearly a week, an unprecedented move.


PHOTO FROM THE WASHINGTON POST


Due to these security changes and a raging pandemic, this Inauguration Day looked and felt very different. Those who attended were masked, and American flags filled the space where crowds would normally stand.


Regardless, throughout his inaugural address, President Biden reaffirmed the themes that he emphasized during the election season, focusing on his goal to unify the country.


“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural vs. urban, conservative vs. liberal,” said the newly inaugurated President. “We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our heart.”


After leaving the Capitol, Biden eventually made his way to the White House, where he quickly moved forward with the promises that he made prior to inauguration day. In his 17 directives, he sought to require masks on all federal grounds, rejoin the Paris Agreement, and halt border wall construction, all of which are facing a tight Senate and pushback by Republicans.


Though historical in many ways, one of the most notable achievements throughout the day was the swearing in of Vice President Kamala Harris. She is the highest-ranking woman elected to an American governmental official and the first Black woman and Asian American woman to hold this position.


PHOTO FROM CNN


Additionally, Amanda Gorman, who is only 22 years old, became the youngest inaugural poet when she performed “The Hill We Climb,” which resonated closely with President Biden’s address. Her performance sent social media into a frenzy as people across America praised her work.


“So let us leave behind the country better than the one we were left,” Gorman recited. “With every breath in my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.”


Gorman’s message of hope and progress encapsulated a major theme during the 59th Presidential Inauguration, a historic day in United States history.


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