Hillary Thompson, Staff Writer
On January 20, 2021, a historic moment in U.S history played out as the world watched Joe Biden become the 46th President of the United States. Joe Biden took the oath of office on his family’s 127-year-old Bible, while Kamala Harris was sworn in, becoming the first African and Asian American, to become the Vice President of the United States. The first Hispanic and Latina member of the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, administered the oath of office to many who had watched in awe as the former Presidents and the families of the two elected Presidents gathered in celebration and watched the historic moment. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has become the first President in 185 years to not attend the inauguration of his successor. There were many celebrity guests, such as Lady Gaga who had sung her rendition of “ The Star-Spangled Banner,” Jennifer Lopez performed “This Land is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful” and Katy Perry performed her most popular song “Firework” while singing in front of the Washington Monument; fireworks of red, white, and blue exploded behind her. Poet Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old Harvard grad, recited a poem reflecting on the day the Capitol was attacked stating, “in this truth, in this faith, we trust. For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.”
After President Biden gave a speech preaching about healing and unity he stated, “to overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity.” After his inaugural address, the President and Vice President also received congressional gifts. These gifts included a painting made by a Black painter from the Civil War presented to Biden by Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican. Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar presented Biden and Harris with Lenox crystal vases. Then Biden and Harris went from the Capitol to Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony with three formers Presidents, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The Biden family then walked in the inaugural parade. Around 4 pm Biden entered the White House for the first time as the 46th commander in chief. Biden and the First Lady paused for a moment on the North Portico as “Hail to the Chief” played. Vice President Harris returned to the Capitol to swear in three new Democratic senators: Georgia’s Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock, and California’s Alex Padilla, who replaced Harris in the chamber. After the inauguration, a celebration called Celebrating America included performances from Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Tim McGraw, Luis Fonsi, and the event Host Tom Hanks. During this celebration, Biden had reiterated his call for unity stating “it is humbling to stand here in this place in front of these sacred words. Humbling out of respect to President Lincoln and the office we now share and humbling because of you, the American people. As I said earlier today, we have learned again that democracy is precious and because of you democracy has prevailed.”