HP Bagpipe

HP Bagpipe

HP Bagpipe

Joe Biden Sworn In As 46th President

Biden promised to be a president for all Americans
By Nicole Glass Photography on Shutterstock
Joe Bide and Kamala Harris are officially sworn in as president and vice president, respectively. President Biden made multiple calls for unity in his 21-minute inaugural address.

President Joseph Biden pleaded for unity in his inaugural address to the nation, promising to “overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America.”

Biden was sworn in as the nation’s 46th president alongside Kamala Harris who took the oath for vice president on Wednesday at an inauguration, amid a pandemic and two weeks after an insurrection of the Capitol building. Harris also made history as the first female, Black and South Asian vice president.

The inauguration ceremony was held on the U.S. Capitol’s West Front, one of the locations where a mob overpowered police and stormed the building on Jan. 6. Attendance was sharply curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic, as only about 1,000 guests were present at the Capitol for the inauguration. As the event is classified as a “national special security event,” thousands of National Guard members were on the job and surrounded Washington D.C. alongside local police and federal law enforcement agencies.

Former President Donald Trump, who never congratulated Biden on his win, left the White House and flew to Florida, making him the first president to skip his successor‘s swearing-in since 1869. Former Vice President Mike Pence did not attend Trump’s sendoff, but he did attend Biden’s inaugural ceremony. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all attended, along with their respective wives.

Biden emphasized themes of unity and recovery in his inaugural address, messages that he returned to repeatedly on the campaign trail on his way to victory over Trump. The president also referenced the violent attack on the Capitol two weeks ago, saying it underscored the value of American democracy.

“We’ve learned again that democracy is precious,” Biden said. “And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”

Amy Klobuchar, the incoming Democratic chairwoman of the Senate rules committee, kicked off the ceremony by welcoming everyone to this historic event.

“This is the day when our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust and does what it always does,” Klobuchar said.

When the U.S. Capitol was attacked two weeks ago, Officer Eugene Goodman led rioters away by himself from the Senate chambers possibly saving lives. Today, Goodman escorted Harris at the Inauguration.

The ceremony began with an invocation from Father Leo J. O’Donovan, a former Georgetown University president, and a firefighter from Georgia named Andrea Hall led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pop star Lady Gaga performed the National Anthem. The singer’s ties connect to Biden to his time as vice president when they worked together on the White House’s campaign to fight sexual assault on college campuses.

Harris was then sworn in as the 49th vice president of the United States by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor shortly before noon on a Bible that once belonged to first the Black man to serve on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall.

In one of her first official acts, Harris will swear in her successor, Alex Padilla, along with Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the Democrats who won the Georgia runoffs to give their party control of the Senate.

Later on, pop star Jennifer Lopez, dressed in all white, performed a rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” after Harris took the oath of office. The song then transitioned into “America the Beautiful.”

This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope.

— President Biden

After the interlude of music, Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the U.S. The president was sworn in using a Bible that has been in his family since 1893 and was used during his swearing-in as vice president. It was also used each time he was sworn-in as a U.S Senator.

“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope,” Biden said.

Biden’s speech wound up being 21 minutes and 18 seconds long. For comparison, President Trump’s inaugural speech, focusing on “American carnage,” lasted 16 minutes and 14 seconds. In 2016, Trump’s focused on crime and an “America first” agenda. Today, Biden’s focused on reuniting a country sharply divided and creating unity within fellow Americans.

“So now on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago, violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries,” Biden said.

In his address, Biden acknowledged a dark winter, a phrase he has used in recent weeks as the coronavirus cases spike and deaths from the pandemic continue to rise higher and higher.

“We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities,” the president said. “Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build and much to gain.”

Biden takes office in a uniquely challenging moment in American history as millions of jobs have been lost, thousands of business forcefully closed, cries for racial injustice and lives taken as a deadly virus is on the loose. The recent insurrection in the U.S. Capitol by Trump extremists is the latest challenge that the country is facing.

“Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness, and with unity we can do great things, important things,” Biden said. “I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real.”

Biden wrapped up his speech after about 21 minutes, with celebrations filling the Capitol.

“So, with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time, sustained by faith, driven by conviction and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts,” Biden said. “May God bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America.”

After Biden finished his inaugural speech, country singer Garth Brooks sang “Amazing Grace.”

The inaugural ceremony concluded with a benediction by Rev. Silvester Beaman. Echoing the theme of unity in Joe Biden’s inaugural speech, Beaman said, “We will make friends of our enemies.”

Poet Amanda Gorman recited a poem for the event. The 22-year-old artist is the youngest inaugural poet in American history. Biden then left the ceremony as “The Stars and Stripes Forever” played.

The president will spend his first hours in office taking a series of actions on coronavirus, the environment and immigration. Biden is expected to sign a range of executive orders. The actions include revoking a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline and reversing a travel ban from several largely Muslim and African countries.

About the Contributor
Sarah Rogers
Sarah Rogers, News Editor
What are some of her hobbies outside of Bagpipe? She plays golf What kind. of music does she listen to? She loves country music What is her dream job? Her dream jobs are to be a Nascar driver or a UN Diplomat