Biden and Harris Are Inaugurated In A Critical Time In America


The White House

The Bidens and the Harris-Emhoffs-Photo.

“Before God and all of you, I give you my word: I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I’ll defend our Democracy. I’ll defend America.” said President Joseph Robinette Biden after he was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America on the Capitol balcony. 

In a ceremony attended by Congressional Leaders, family and friends, former California Senator Kamala Devi Harris was also sworn in as the first female Vice President by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. 

“I think it’s a great step in the right direction. Hopefully this will allow communities to do more but there’s still a lot more work to get done,” Mayfield junior Lucy Martinez said, referring to Harris also being the first Black American and South Asian American to take the vice presidential oath of office.

The Inauguration took place on the balcony of the Capitol where just two weeks ago, supporters of the former President Donald J. Trump descended on the historical building to protest Biden’s victory. The January 6th insurrection  left five dead and delayed the Congressional Electoral Vote Certification by hours, 

Heightened security at the inauguration saw over 21,000 members of the National Guard–more soldiers than are deployed in Iran and Afghanistan combined–stationed throughout downtown D.C leading up to, and after the ceremony. Additional precautions such as extra background checks were performed by the Department of Defense to ensure the safety of the First and Second Families and inauguration attendees. 

During the ceremony, there were talented performances by artists Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks, and Jennifer Lopez. 

Freshman Monica Zepeda, reacting to Lady Gaga’s rendition of the National Anthem, said, “I was getting goosebumps and chills, especially during the National Anthem; I finally feel hopeful.”  

Amanda Gorman, 22, The National Youth Poet Laureate who hails from Los Angeles, was the youngest-ever inaugural poetry reader. 

In her poem “The Hill We Climb,” she referenced the musical Hamiliton and wrote  with a theme  of healing America after the Capitol riots. 

“Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed/A nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished… ”

Gorman’s words seem to have resonated with Americans.After the ceremony, President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Harris and Second Gentlemen Doug Emhoff headed inside to follow the tradition of receiving gifts from Congressional Leaders, before crossing into Virginia by motorcade to the Arlington National Cemetery where the President and the Vice President, lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a first for a newly-elected president on inauguration day. President Biden has consistently shown his support for American soldiers as a father of a National Guard member, the late Beau Biden and closed his inaugural address with “May God bless America and may God Protect our troops.” They were joined by their spouses, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, and President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton.

President Biden and Vice President Harris at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
(The White House)

In his first official acts as president, Joe Biden  signed 17 executive orders including a mask mandate in federal buildings and the reversal of former President Trump’s Muslism Travel Ban. 

In the coming days, Americans can expect to see major political changes as Democrats hold the Presidency, the House, and the Senate. 

Sophomore Caroline Squire, reflecting on the new administration said,
“No matter what political party you are in, we have to come together and work together for the best future for America.”