Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States in a heavily fortified Washington on Wednesday. The event completed one of the most dramatic and tense political transitions in American history.
Biden took the oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, with his left hand on the Bible. He declared, “Democracy has prevailed.”
“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,” President Biden said.
In his first address to the nation, the 46th president of the United States called for unity as the way to set up order in the battered nation. “Without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos,” Biden said at the Capitol.
Open our souls
“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural vs. urban, conservative vs. liberal,” the President said. “We can do this, if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance … If we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes.”
“This is our historic moment, of crisis and challenge, and unity is our path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America,” he said.
Vice-President-elect Harris was sworn in ahead of Mr Biden and became the first woman and the first black and Asian-American person elevated to serve in this position.
Biden and Harris began this historic day with a Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington.
Amanda Gorman, 22, became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history after reciting her poem “The Hill We Climb.”
“But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated,” Gorman read. “In this truth, in this faith, we trust.”
Great challenges await the new President. He will try to make operative the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history to contain a virus that has claimed more than 400,000 lives nationwide. He will aim to boost an economy in which about 18 million people are receiving unemployment benefits.
All of our strength
“In the work ahead of us, we’re going to need each other. We need all of our strength to persevere through this dark winter,” the president said.
Biden will try to implement a broad agenda while navigating a country where millions of people, including members of Congress, fed disinformation by Trump question the legitimacy of his victory in the November election. In his inaugural address, the president said the country must “reject the culture where facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.” Biden called on Americans to “defend the truth and defeat the lies.”
Donald Trump did not attend the inauguration of his successor, the fourth president in the country’s history not to do so
Former Republican Vice President Mike Pence, however, did attend
About 25,000 troops were deployed for the ceremony in the capital after the assault on the Capitol, which left five dead.