The 2021 Presidential Inauguration: Restoring the ‘Unity’ in the United States of America

Written by: Hailey Bergren, student reporter

With the already eventful start to 2021, it is without question that with the inauguration of President Joe Biden came hope for new beginnings for America. Although it might have looked a bit different than it has in the past, the over a century-old tradition was upheld in true presidential fashion at the U.S Capitol. It was apparent that the Biden administration’s goal was to inspire unity amongst what has become a divided nation. 

“My whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation. I ask every American to join me in this cause.”

-President Joe Biden

President Donald Trump announced in early January that he would not be in attendance, however, there were many big names in the audience, such as former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, the previously elected Vice-President, Mike Pence, as well as numerous celebrity performers. Though the inauguration is intended to represent a peaceful transfer of power amongst Presidential administrations, this was not the first time that the preceding President has not been in attendance. While the absence of the preceding President is not common, this year’s inauguration broke tradition in more ways than one. 

Vice-President, Kamala Harris’ ground-breaking election has broken barriers for not only women, but women of color. Being the first woman of color elected as Vice President of the United States of America, she is paving the way for the many women to follow in her footsteps, alongside President Joe Biden. 

“Even in dark times, we not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, fearless, and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome; that we will rise up. This is American aspiration…American Aspiration is what drove the women in this nation, throughout history, to demand equal rights.” 

-Vice-President Kamala Harris

Harris was not the only trail-blazing woman of color in attendance at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration. Young poet, Amanda Gorman, recited her piece named ‘A Hill We Climb,” following President Biden’s oath of office. In her poem, Gorman speaks to both the issues that we have faced as a country throughout the past and the present and reminds us of the opportunity for change and hope for a better future that comes with this Presidency.

If you have not watched it yet, Gorman’s recitation of her poem can be watched here:

In Biden’s first few days in office, he has already made it clear that he intends to act upon this call for change that America so desperately needed. This is just the beginning for the Biden administration, but they have already rejoined the Paris agreement, initiated a federal mask mandate, introduced an immigration bill, reversed the Muslim ban, and reengaged in the World Health Organization. 

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