The Inauguration of Joe Biden

Gabriella Riaz, Writer

On January 20th, 2021, a remarkable thing happened again for just the fifty-ninth time in American history. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn in as the next president of the United States, and Kamala Harris as our first female vice president.

Regardless of one’s political leanings, it is important to recognize this transition of power as it was a remarkable event for many reasons. This administration is significant enough in the fact that America has its first Black and South Asian vice president as well as the oldest president. 

The cold morning of January 20th, 2021 began in a unique way, given that the National Guard troops surrounded Washington D.C. in order to provide security following the events at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021. Attendance at the Inauguration was limited due to the ongoing pandemic, but former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama were present. While former president Donald Trump broke tradition and did not make an appearance, former vice president Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, were there to greet Kamala and Doug Harris. A notable attendee was Bernie Sanders, who was spotted looking warm in his sensational mittens, made by a second-grade teacher from Essex Junction, Vermont. 

Vice President Kamala Harris used two Bibles, one of which was the same Bible as Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and the other belonging to an important personal family friend. Joe Biden was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts using a Bible with over a century of family history behind it, which he has used every time he has been sworn in to public office. 

Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet, recited her inspiring poem, “The Hill We Climb.” This thought-provoking message served as a good summary of the challenges the country has lived through, and the tenacity with which it has faced them. 

Tom Hanks hosted a 90-minute special that featured people from all across the country with performances by Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and others. The night ended with a spectacular fireworks display. 

As memorable and significant as all of the day’s events were, Americans can take real pride in the transfer of power which occurred despite a divisive election in the middle of a pandemic, featuring the Constitution of the United States as its most important actor.