Biden’s Inauguration was a show of unity as many across the nation breathe a sigh of relief
The hour-long ceremony also featured performances from the youngest U.S. poet laureate, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.
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On Wednesday Jan. 20, the U.S. officially welcomed a new Presidential administration, as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Devi Harris took their sacred oath outside the Capitol.
The inauguration ceremony began at 11:15 a.m with an invocation from former Georgetown University president, Father Leo J. O’Donovan.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar then took center stage as leader of the inauguration committee. She introduced a Georgia firefighter named Andrea Hall, who led the crowd through the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following the Pledge, Lady Gaga performed the national anthem, and then Jennifer Lopez took the podium to perform a mash-up of “This Land is My Land” and “America the Beautiful.”
In true J-LO style, the singer made sure to pay tribute to her Puerto Rican heritage and delivered a quick message in Spanish after completing her set: “una nación, con libertad y justicia para todos,” she shouted, which means “one nation, with liberty and justice for all.”
Following the swearing in of President Biden and Vice President Harris, Amanda Gorman, the youngest Inaugural poet in U.S history, delivered an original poem, entitled “The Hill We Climb,” that she wrote on Jan. 6, just before a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the halls of Congress.
Gorman began writing a few lines per day, but after hearing the news of the insurrection, she stayed up late into the night to finish the poem, adding in verses about the scenes that unfolded.
“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated,” Gorman recited.
Vice President Harris made history today in three ways: She is the first woman, Black woman, and Indian woman to hold the second-highest office in the country.
At the start of the ceremony, Klobuchar acknowledged this pivotal moment by calling attention to the youth inspired across the country by Harris’ ascension. ,
“When she takes the oath of office, little girls and boys across the world will know that anything and everything is possible. And in the end, that is America,” said Klobuchar
Harris was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, using two different bibles. One belonged to Regina Shelton, a family friend whom Harris views as a mother figure, and the other was previously owned by the late Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court Justice.
At noon, President Biden took his oath and delivered a moving speech that focused primarily on the theme of unity.
Biden touched on the issues of climate change, the pandemic and racial justice throughout his speech, but most importantly, he vowed to build back democracy and be a leader for “all Americans,” not just those that supported his campaign.
“Here we stand looking out on the great mall where Dr. King spoke on his dream, here we stand where, 108 years ago, at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for their right to vote. And today, we mark the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can’t change!” he said.
The thoughts of change, unity and optimism are ringing through the minds of so many that have been waiting for this very day for the last four years. Now it’s time for action.