As President Joe Biden was sworn into office in Washington DC Wednesday, his speech was filled with thoughts of hope, unity, and change for the better.
“Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this,” Biden said during his inauguration speech. “Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause.”
Near the end of his speech he asked all to take a silent moment to pray and honor the lives lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as more than 400,000 lives have been lost.
This was a particularly special inauguration due to the amount of history made. Biden is the oldest president to take office (78 years old) and Vice President Kamala Harris is the first African American, South Asian- American, and woman to be in office making her husband the first “second gentleman.”
“When she (Kamala Harris) takes the oath of office little girls and boys across the world will know that anything and everything is possible,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar during the inauguration.
Harris was sworn in by Sonia Sotomayor who was the first Latina woman to be in the court.
Klobuchar was not the only one to share this hope. Biden plans to push for peaceful and equal time and calls on not only his supporters but those who were against him as well.
“I will be a president for all Americans, all Americans,” said Biden. “And I promise you I will fight as hard for those who didn’t support me as for those who did.”
Special guests performed during the inauguration. Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem.
A day prior to her performance she said, “I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans. A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance, not fear.”
Jennifer Lopez began to sing “This Land is Your Land” and put her own spin by switching to “America the Beautiful” and then surprised everyone by speaking Spanish, reciting a line from the Pledge of Allegiance. Many applauded this sentiment.
The inaugural poet was Amanda Gorman, a 22 year old poet from Los Angeles, California and is the youngest inaugural poet. Her poem The Hill We Climb continued the theme of unity and strength within our democracy.
“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be.
“A country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free.
“We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation,
“Because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation,” said Gorman in her poem.
Poets are not too common at inaugurations, in fact, Gorman is only the fourth to perform. Prior to Biden’s inauguration, only 3 previous presidents had inaugural poets. However, it appears it will become a new tradition in the 21st century. Gorman, like Biden, had a speech impediment as a child. Biden had a stutter; Gorman had difficulty pronouncing certain sounds. This makes her performance particularly special.
After the oath and the address comes the celebrating. Typically, the newly inaugurated president reviews a parade. Due to the pandemic, the parade will be virtual.
To read President Biden’s full Inauguration speech, please visit: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/20/joe-biden-inauguration-speech-transcript-full-text-460813