Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash
On January 20th, former Vice President Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. The day was full of historic firsts and lasts and a little bit of everything in between.
Following former President Trump’s military sendoff, Biden started his day by attending a church service in D.C. at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle with his wife First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.
After the church service, they returned to Pennsylvania Avenue to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to be sworn into office. Vice President Harris was sworn in first with President Biden being sworn in directly after. Harris is now the first African American, Female, and South Asian Vice President. This marked the first time in 192 years that the outgoing president did not stay to attend the inauguration.
During the inauguration, Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet by reading her poem “The Hill We Climb.”
“For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it,” Gorman said in her poem in relation to the inauguration of Biden.
The newly inaugurated officials with their spouses then visited Arlington National Cemetery to put a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton also attended the wreath laying.
Harris returned to the Senate to swear in Georgia’s Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock, and California’s Alex Padilla, three brand new Democratic senators. Padilla is Harris’ replacement because of her Senate resignation.
Meanwhile, Biden received a presidential escort from the U.S. Capitol Building to the White House. Every branch of the military was there to be represented in the presidential escort.
After his first step in the White House, Biden began signing executive orders to rejoin the Paris Climate accord, to halt evictions, and stop student loan payments during COVID-19.
Biden and Harris have now taken their new offices, and U.S. Citizens will have to watch closely to see what their next steps will be.