President Biden’s first 100 days

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Emilia McLeod, Social Media Editor

Biden’s First 100 Days Updates

 

1/20/21 10:08 a.m. 

January 20 is the long-awaited day for many across America, one where many will watch on with a variety of emotions. It features the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president, after a hectic election season. The election differed from those in the past, riddled with discrepancies in voting and a delayed answer as to the winner. Further, with the country in such political disarray, something as simple as the Congress’ verification of the Electoral College votes quickly turned into infiltration of the Capital, and the second impeachment of President Trump.

 

However, all of these events aside, Americans together have arrived to this day, when the transfer of power will finally take place. Trump has already stated that he will not be attending the event, as expected after his struggle to let go of the presidential position. Among the expected attendees, however, are performers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, as well as several Congress members, and former Presidents and First Ladies (NBC). 

 

In preparation for today’s event, 200,000 flags were placed in the National Mall to represent the usual guests that cannot attend due to COVID-19 (NPR). This year, only 1,000 will attend. Also, 25,000 National Guard troops have been placed at the Capital amid threats made. Twelve of these troop members have been removed due to ties to right-wing militia groups (USA Today). These preparations ensure the integrity and safety of the event and those attending, especially that of the new President and Vice President as they are sworn in. 

 

UPDATE: 1/20/21 1:02 p.m. 

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in at around 12 p.m., following a performance of the National Anthem by Lady Gaga, and another performance by Jennifer Lopez. Meanwhile, President Trump has arrived in Florida following a send-off ceremony at Joint Base Andrews (NBC News). 

 

These events are extremely symbolic for many, as Harris is the first woman – and woman of color – to be sworn into office. Harris and her supporters alike view the moment as a milestone for those who have fought through generations to see representation in their government. As she took her oath, she laid her hand on a Bible that once belonged to Supreme Court Justice and civil rights figure Thurgood Marshall, sealing the meaningfulness of the moment (New York Times).

 

Biden swore in minutes before the official change of power, reciting the oath with his hand on a Bible that has been in his family for 128 years, also used by his son Beau (New York Times). He started his Inaugural Address with words of inspiration: “This is America’s day;” “This is democracy’s day;” and “democracy has prevailed.” Biden went on to detail the disappointing state of the country today, politically, socially, and economically, following the Coronavirus. This aside, he stated the importance of uniting together to move forward.

 

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words and requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity,” Biden said. “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal….We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.”

 

He went on to express the lessons we have learned from the past weeks.

 

“Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profits,” He said. “And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies” (The Washington Post).

 

Regardless of these “painful lessons,” Biden also made sure to outline the successes represented by this day.

 

“Here we stand, looking out on the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream,” he remarked. “Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the 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” (NBC News).

 

The new president and vice president then made their way through the events for the day, receiving several gifts and making their way down the avenue together, greeting their new constituents.

 

UPDATE: 1/20/21 3:02 p.m. 

Biden and Harris visited Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The monument represents deceased U.S. service members whose remains have not been identified. 

 

The president and vice president are now being escorted from 15th Street in Washington, D.C. to the White House by the military (ABC News). The parade will be followed by the virtual “Parade Across America” decorated with artists and musical events.