On January 20th, 2021, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were officially sworn in as president and vice president of the United States. The ceremony had limited in-person attendees, but was broadcasted live all over the world. Their introduction to office obviously looked different than that of previous inaugurations (what with the recent insurrection of the Capitol and the COVID-19 pandemic), but the ceremony touched on important social and cultural messages that will be remembered for generations to come.
The president was kept in a high-security environment, accompanied by escorts on his way to the west side of the Capitol. At the inauguration itself, several key speakers attended, including previous president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama. Throughout the inauguration, Biden consistently expressed that he wanted a return to normalcy after the turbulent years of Trump’s presidential term. A prevalent guest speaker at the ceremony was Amanda Gorman, an inspirational poet who read one of her works live at the inauguration and touched the hearts of Americans across the country.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from Biden’s inauguration was the call for hope. Hope that things would get better, and that if we worked together to solve the issues we are facing, we could easily overcome any and all obstacles. Biden said in his inaugural address, “Today, we celebrate not the triumph of a candidate but a cause: the cause of democracy.” More than a presidential elect, Biden was–for many struggling Americans–a beacon of hope in troubled times. I hope that, like this inauguration, America will continue to be hopeful as the Biden administration progresses through a full four year term.