THE presidential inauguration ceremony Wednesday didn’t look like anything we’ve seen before.
The unparalleled nature of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration encapsulates much of what alarms America’s international friends about the turmoil engulfing the United States and the West. It’s also a neat summary of what’s emboldening America’s adversaries.
Four years ago, a sea of spectators lined the streets and hundreds of foreign diplomats attended a pre-inauguration dinner hosted by Donald Trump.
On Wednesday — prompted by the still-raging coronavirus pandemic, and the security fears after the Capitol riot — much of that looks set to be absent in a relatively quiet Washington, billeted by thousands of National Guard troops.
Security was incredibly tight, given the attack on the US Capitol last week. There were no massive crowds, and coronavirus restrictions were in place for all those who attended.
Moments before the inauguration ceremony began, honoured guests began arriving for the ceremony.
Former President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton attended the ceremony, as did former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
Shortly thereafter, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were introduced to the crowd at the Capitol.
Only two living presidents did not attend Biden’s inauguration: Jimmy Carter, the 96-year-old who served in office from 1977 to 1981, missed his first inauguration in 44 years, a precaution because of the coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald Trump, who left Washington on Wednesday morning and became the first American president in 152 years to skip his successor’s inauguration.
Shortly afterward, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and President-elect Joe Biden were introduced at the Capitol.
After the dignitaries were seated and introduced, Grammy Award-winning musician Lady Gaga performed a moving rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. others stars also performed at the ceremony.
Kamala Harris, the former Senator from California, was the first to be sworn in ? a historic undertaking in American history, as she becomes the country’s first female vice president and the country’s first person of colour to hold that office.
Then, Joe Bidenn who spent 36 years in the United States Senate and eight years serving as vice president for Barack Obama, was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.
Immediately after being sworn in, President Biden delivered his inaugural address, promising to be a president for all Americans and vowing to work to restore unity in America.