Last updated on February 11th, 2021 at 12:38 pm
America celebrated the inauguration of the new U.S. President, Joseph R. Biden, and his Vice President, Kamala D. Harris on Wednesday. Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president, and Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president—making history.
In his inauguration speech, Biden called for unity and an end to extreme bipartisanship that has particularly marred the last four years.
“So now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this 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,” the new president said. “The American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us.
“A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear. And now, a rise in political extremism, White supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.
“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and to secure the future of America, requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: unity.
“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.”
Conspicuously absent from the proceedings was outgoing President Donald Trump. Vice President Pence was in attendance, electing to skip Trump’s departure ceremony in order to attend.
During the ceremony, Kamala Harris was escorted by Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer who led rioters away from the senate. Immediate priorities for the administration include actions to control the COVID-19 pandemic, provide economic relief, tackle climate change, and advance racial equity and civil rights, as well as immediate actions to reform our immigration system and restore America’s standing in the world.