President Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband Doug Emhoff (from right to left) attend the 2021 Presidential inauguration.
The Presidential Inauguration took place on January 20, 2021. Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States. He is the oldest person to ever hold the office at 78 years old. Kamala Harris became Vice President of the United States. She is the first woman, first African American, and first Asian American to hold that office.
The inauguration ceremony traditionally takes place on the steps of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. This year was no different except for a few major changes. Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the number of people who could attend the inauguration in person was limited. In the past, hundreds of thousands of Americans crowded the National Mall on inauguration day. This year, only a few hundred people were there. This allowed them to social-distance to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Instead, about 200,000 American flags were placed on the National Mall. These flags represented all of the Americans who wanted to be there but could not attend. Additionally, 400 lanterns were placed along the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool. These lanterns honored the more than 400,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19.
The 2021 inauguration was mostly virtual. Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem. Other celebrities, like Jon Bon Jovi, gave virtual performances to all those watching at home. Amanda Gorman, the first ever youth poet laureate of the United States, delivered a powerful poem on unity and the power of words.
In his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden also called for unity. He pointed out the crisis of misinformation as a major threat dividing our country. In addition, Biden outlined the other major crises that his administration will need to tackle in the first year, such as global warming and racial justice.
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Read President Joe Biden’s speech from the inauguration ceremony, January 20, 2021.
Read the speech Vice President Kamala Harris delivered at the inauguration ceremony, January 20, 2021
Read an article about Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem and watch a video of her performance.