‘Democracy has prevailed’: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sworn in

Today the United States of America welcomed its new president, vice president and a new era. 

To begin the event, Lady Gaga performed “The Star Spangled Banner” and Jennifer Lopez followed with “America, the Beautiful” and “This Land is Your Land”.

During Lopez’s performance, she raised her finger to the sky and said, “¡Una nación, bajo Dios, indivisible, con libertad y justicia para todos!” 

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(English translation: “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!”)

The Inauguration was guarded by 25,000 National Guard members. 12 of which were not allowed to serve at the event.Ten of the members were not allowed because they may have had ties to extremists and the other 2 were removed because of inappropriate media use. 

Harris was escorted by officer Eugene Goodman, who was one of the officers that faced the violent rioters during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Goodman stepped aside as Harris walked to the podium, holding the arm of her husband. 

See more: Meet Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, captured in viral video facing down mob 

Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor on two Bibles, one once belonged to Thurgood Marshall, America’s first Black Supreme Court Justice, and the second owned by Regina Shelton, a family friend who Harris recognizes as her surrogate mother.

Harris tightly hugged her husband and fist bumped Biden. She is the daughter of two immigrant parents and is the first Black, Asian-American and woman to serve as Vice President of the United States.

Snow fell as Biden walked hand-in-hand with Jill Biden, his wife and America’s new First Lady, to the podium, waving at officials and members of the crowd. 

Biden was sworn in on a family heirloom Bible that dates back to 1893. He said in an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert anytime he has been sworn in, it has been on that Bible and each date, including this one, is inscribed in the Bible.

Members of the crowd and other officials all wore masks today as Biden recognized the devastating toll COVID-19 has taken on the United States.

“I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs,” Biden said. “Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it.”

Biden mainly focused his Inaugural Address on unity and healing America. Throughout the speech, he alluded to George Washington’s oath, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have A Dream and the Woman Suffrage Procession of 1913

Biden recognized racial injustice, environmental issues, the current economic recession, white supremacy and domestic terrorism in his speech. He called on the American people to come together as a whole to work on these problems.

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity, unity,” Biden said.

Staff reporter Keaton Yates can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @keatsians.

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