2021’s Presidential Inauguration: Recapping A Look Into The Future

2021’s Presidential Inauguration: Recapping A Look Into The Future

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2021’s Presidential Inauguration: Recapping A Look Into The Future

The induction of the Biden-Harris administration definitely seems like one that can never be replicated

The induction of the Biden-Harris administration definitely seems like one that can never be replicated

Text: Ahad Sanwari

Well, it finally happened! Earlier today, on January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Devi Harris were finally sworn in as the President and Vice President of the United States of America. 

Only in 2020 could the Presidential swearing in be preceded by warm-up acts like Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez. That’s an adaptation of a joke by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who spoke several times today, also saying, “this is the day when our democracy picks itself up.”

Image credits: AP

Gaga delivered the national anthem in a stunning gown courtesy of Schiaparelli with a gilded dove brooch. Her theatrical performance matched her outfit perfectly, doing vocal runs and working with her equally gilded microphone. Lopez (in Chanel, FYI) also dropped in for a performance of “This Land is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful,” renditions tinged with 90s strings courtesy of the Marine Band.

Image credits: Alex Wong/Getty Images

No one, however, made as big a fashion statement as Kamala Harris did, donning an all-purple Christopher John Rogers ensemble as a nod to the first African-American woman to run for President, Shirley Chisholm in 1972. And she accrued what was arguably the loudest applause this morning as she was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, as the first African-American, Asian-American, and female Vice President.

Image credits: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Three prominent living past Presidents and their wives were in attendance for the ceremony, including Barack and Michelle Obama, George and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were unable to attend. The only other missing President was Donald and Melania Trump, who’d already departed for Florida before the ceremony began, making him the first President to miss his immediate successor’s inauguration since Andrew Johnson in 1869.

Joe Biden was the day’s slated main act, though, taking the oath in front of several prominent figures, America, and the entire Biden clan and delivering a well-received speech that talked about maintaining unity above all. In a direct response to his predecessor, Biden spoke of bringing together the country’s red and blue divide to unite against a common enemy.

Image credits: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The inauguration ceremony that took place, a display of grand American pride and tradition with distinctively 2020 flavor, seems like a good representation of what the Biden-Harris administration would look like. We have the band in their stands, marshalling along as one prominent guest after another makes their way down the vaunted steps. We have the extravagantly grand spread of American flags ushering in a new era for the country.

Yet, you also have all of those band members wearing face masks and the people in attendance with their own faces covered as well, separated from one another, lined up in one of the smallest audiences in recent Presidential history. Every time we were able to forget about our circumstances, lost in the speeches promising a brighter tomorrow, we were reminded of our today by the aide coming in to wipe down the podium each time.

Image credits: Win McNamee/Getty Images

There’s no way to escape any mention of the pandemic continuing to grip the nation as we mourned 400,000 deaths since the beginning of last year. But as youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, wrote in the poem she recited today, “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.”

Credits: Cover image credits: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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