Inauguration Day 2021

Surina Ramoutar, Staff Writer

The 46th President of the United States was sworn in on January 20 on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Americans welcomed Joe Biden as their president from home, since the Presidential Inaugural Committee asked that people stay home and celebrate this year’s inauguration virtually. Instead of the traditional inaugural parade, the Bidens arrived with a presidential escort consisting of representatives from the different branches of the military. To maintain some normalcy, a virtual parade showcased many communities across the nation, and instead of an inaugural ball, there was a program “Celebrating America” that was broadcasted in celebration. Also, a virtual lighting ceremony took place to honor those who lost their lives to COVID-19. These events were not ideal and the most traditional in terms of Inauguration Day events, but they allowed for Americans to enjoy the day without the risk of spreading/ contracting the virus.

In addition to the day’s festivities, the nation was calm as the vice-president-elect and president-elect were being sworn in despite the fear of violent protests. The inauguration was held on the same risers at the U.S. Capitol where a violent mob stormed earlier in the month, but the two events aren’t even comparable from a security standpoint. The protestors were able to breach the Capitol on January 6th.   This was next to impossible to accomplish on Inauguration Day with the thousands of National Guard troops patrolling the streets of D.C. and they were also not met with any large amounts of demonstrators. Small numbers of demonstrators gathered at some statehouses in opposition, but many had been effectively shut down by large numbers of National Guard troops and law enforcement.

Inauguration Day represented a peaceful transfer of power while also maintaining the safety of Americans and those attending the inauguration. President Biden spoke of unity continuously throughout his inaugural speech and the importance of it. In addition, the Inaugural Poem, delivered by Amanda Gorman, relates closely to the larger theme of Biden’s inaugural ceremony and is an address to all Americans to come together to face and overcome the challenges before us during these unprecedented times.