Inauguration Day: A Presidential Transition Like No Other

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021 at 3:01 pm by Josh Meyers

Alex Malanoski, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. officially became the 46th President of the United States following his inauguration this morning. Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice President, becoming the first woman and person of color to serve that role. 

Donald Trump became the seventh United States president to not attend the inauguration. Instead, Trump gave a final farewell to supporters at Joint Base Andrew hours before Biden’s swearing-in. 

“What we’ve done has been amazing by any standard,” said Trump, citing his administration’s successes over the last four years. 

Prior to boarding Air Force One to head back to his Florida home at Mar-a-Lago, Trump told the crowd, “We will be back in some form.” After thanking Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence, Trump ended with a final message to his supporters. “Have a good life. We will see you soon.”

President Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden started the day by attending a church service at Washington’s Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. They were joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff. A bipartisan group of Congress members, including both Senate leaders, Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Chuck Schumer, were in attendance as well.

Due to the pandemic, today’s inauguration was unlike any other in history. The ceremony took place in front of a small, socially distanced audience in a city under heightened security due to the deadly violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol exactly two weeks ago. 

In his inaugural address to the nation, Biden called for unity among the American people. “We must meet this moment as the United States of America,” said Biden in his speech. He further stated, “I will be a president for all Americans.” 

Biden continued his theme of unity by addressing the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans. “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue.” Speaking to the racial reckoning in the United States, Biden said, “the dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.” 

“Together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness,” added Biden in the final moments of his address. 

Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, recited a poem she composed titled, “The Hill We Climb.” 

“For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us,” said Gorman.