What You Might Have Missed From the 2021 Inauguration
January 20, 2021
The inauguration process is an important step in America’s democracy, but is also very long. For those with school or jobs, it’s difficult to watch the entire broadcast.
For those that might have missed it, here are some highlights from the prominent parts of the day, including the morning of, the pre-swearing in presentations, the swearing in, and the post-swearing in presentations.
The Morning Of
The morning of Inauguration began with current president Trump leaving the White House and boarding a plane to Florida around 8 a.m., CST. He had notably decided to not attend the inauguration, making him only the fourth president in American history to break a tradition that has been set since the first inauguration.
Meanwhile, the Vice President Elect Kamala Harris and President Elect Joe Biden attended church and small crowds began to gather at the Capitol. Notably, Barack Obama reportedly congratulated Biden, saying, “This is your time.”
Before boarding, Trump wished Americans well, said “have a good life,” and continued to claim voter fraud in his lost election.
Politicians and past holders of office arrived at the Capitol as well, such as past presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton along with many Supreme Court Justices. Some wore body armor under their suits, and all wore masks. Not long later, at about 9:30 a.m. CST, Biden and Harris also arrived at the Capitol.
Senate leadership began to enter the inauguration stage, taking their seats as a crowd was already forming to watch the proceedings. Vice President Mike Pence also attended. Not long later, six out of nine members of the Supreme Court arrived as well as the family of the elected.
Around 10:10 a.m. CST, Harris was escorted to the stage; markedly, by Eugene Goodman, a police officer that had protected senators from intruders in the Capitol riot. Speaker of House Nancy Pelosi entered after, followed by Joe Biden.
Pre-Swearing In Presentations
The welcome remarks were given by Senator Amy Klobuchar. Her speech, as well as many speeches given that morning, was characterized by a call for togetherness.
“This is the day when our democracy picks itself up,” Klobuchar said.
She was followed by Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who thanked the Capitol security of the day before giving a speech himself on the importance of an inauguration ceremony.
“Americans have celebrated this moment during war, during depression, and now during pandemic,” Blunt said. “This is not a moment of division, it is a moment of unification.”
Next came Reverend Leo Jeremiah O’Donovan, delivering an invocation. The Presentation of National Colors was next, in where federal and state flags were carried across the stage and placed on the Capitol veranda for the rest of the inauguration. Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem to the nation, and Andrea Hall recited the Pledge of Allegiance verbally and in ASL. This was the last step before the official swearing in ceremony.
Kamala Harris was sworn in first, making her the official Vice President of the United States, as well as the first woman and person of color elected as vice president.
Between this inauguration and the next, Jennifer Lopez sang, “This Land is Your Land.” Slipping in part of the Pledge of Allegiance during this song, she said, in Spanish, “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
At 10:50 a.m. CST, Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States.
Biden gave an address afterwards, which was very hope-oriented. Little policy was discussed throughout the speech.
He gave more credence to bringing America together, saying that without unity we have, “no nation, only a state of chaos.”
He, and many politicians attending, were very aware of the recent Capitol riots.
He called the storming of the Senate an “attack on democracy and truth.”
Biden also promised to be a people’s president.
“Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path,” Biden said. “I will be a president for all Americans; I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.”
Post-Swearing In Presentations
Garth Brooks sang “Amazing Grace” after the inaugural address, followed by Amanda Gorman who recited a poem about the historic day. Another Reverend came to the stand, Dr. Silvester Beaman, and after his leave the colors were escorted off stage once again.
This signaled the end of the inaugural ceremony, leaving politicians to exit the stage and news anchors to give comments on the proceedings.
Throughout the rest of the day, and possibly into the next, President Joe Biden reportedly planned to unleash many executive orders. Though the inauguration is complete, the news is not over.