Biden urges unity during altered inauguration ceremony

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 1:30 PM MST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Neither the pandemic, nor threats of violence, could stop the transition of power here in our nation’s capital Wednesday.

It’s what we’ve come to expect on Inauguration Day: the pageantry, bipartisanship, and tradition. At the same time, there were many differences this year.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris briefly removed their face masks as they took their oaths. The former presidents, lawmakers, and guests around them all covered their faces and sat apart.

Surrounding the Capitol, 20,000 National Guard troops kept watch.

“We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,” said President Biden in his speech.

The president spoke about the impact of the pandemic, racial tensions, and national division.

“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,” he said.

Former President Donald Trump did not attend. He left the White House for the last time hours before the changeover, but gave a nod to President Biden.

“I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they’ll have great success,” President Trump told supporters on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, minutes before he boarded Air Force One for Florida.

President Biden is already cutting into the Trump administration’s legacy. Wednesday night, Biden signs a series of executive actions undoing many of Trump’s moves.

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