Inauguration Day Recap


Ellie O’Sullivan, Editor-In-Chief, Junior

Two weeks after the capitol was stormed by rioters, a fortunately uneventful inauguration was held. The word ‘fortunate’ appropriate after multiple threats were made against President Biden and others around him. Fearing the potential for violence, school administrators asked that the inauguration not be shown in school, however students would be allowed to take an excused absence should they want to watch it.

The proceedings were attended by all living former presidents, except for Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump. Carter, the country’s longest-lived president, sent his regrets, citing the danger of travel  at his advanced age of 96. Trump dismissed himself before the ceremony. The event was, however, attended by former Vice President Pence along with other Republican officials.

The opening remarks were made, in a show of bipartisanship, by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, herself once a candidate for president this year, and by Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri. Shortly thereafter, Lady Gaga performed the  National Anthem. Kamala Harris then took her oath of office and officially became the first ever female, Black, and Asian Vice President. Jennifer Lopez followed by singing America the Beautiful

Joseph R. Biden, Jr then took the oath of office as President of the United States. His inaugural speech focused heavily on uniting the American people and serving all U.S. citizens, whether or not they voted for him. The inaugural address is often regarded as a way to set the tone for the presidency, and it appears as though Biden’s term is going to focus on mending a divided nation and addressing national threats such as domestic terrorism and the pandemic. After being invited by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, country star Garth Brooks sang Amazing Grace.

Bringing back a tradition reinstated by Bill Clinton, a poet laureate was invited to deliver a performance written for the ceremony. Amanda Gorman, only 22, sent a message of America’s ability to persevere through even the worst of times. 

After a scaled-back inaugural parade, Biden has also already participated in the ceremonial wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery. Then, it was on to ‘business as usual’, getting to work by signing Executive Orders dealing with  the pandemic, unemployment, immigration, the environment, and many other issues facing the country today.

In lieu of an inaugural ball, which would have been far too difficult for social distancing, a televised outing called “Celebrating America” was broadcast on network television featuring performances by Tim McGraw, Black Pumas, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Timberlake. The evening event, in addition to celebrating the new president and vice president, paid tribute to a number of American heroes, including teachers, frontline and essential workers, health professionals and medical responders.