Stage is set outside the Capitol for Joseph R. Biden, Jr. to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States at noon Wednesday. Biden, 78, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, 56, will be sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Born to parents of Indian and Jamaican origins, Harris will become the first colored Asian-American to be elevated to the post. She will also become the first woman U.S. Vice President.
Biden helmed a Democratic return to power by defeating incumbent President Donald Trump in the hotly contested presidential election. Trump, who has not yet conceded defeat alleging that his opponent stole the election, will depart the White House on Wednesday morning, breaking the long-held tradition of welcoming the incoming President and attending the inaugural ceremony.
In the wake of Covid restrictions, the 2021 presidential inauguration will be held without mass participation and cheering crowds. White House, Capitol Hill and other crucial spots in the capital have been fortified against possible protests by right-wing extremists.
The day-long events of the inauguration will kick off with Joe Biden, a Catholic, attending mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in the morning. His wife Dr. Jill Biden, Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff also will attend the service along with the four top congressional leaders.
After swearing in as the oldest President in U.S. history, Biden will deliver inaugural address at the West front of the Capitol. There will be musical performances from Lady Gaga – who will sing the national anthem – Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks.
As the new President, Biden’s first official action will be to review the readiness of military troops in a parade.
Biden will participate in a ceremonial wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, to be joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
After that, the President, the First Lady, the Vice President and the Second Gentleman will be escorted to the White House.
In the evening, Biden will sign executive orders at the Oval Office. It will be followed by him swearing in Day One Presidential Appointees in a virtual ceremony.
The inauguration day events will culminate with “Celebrating America,” a 90-minute prime-time special program featuring music performances by superstars, appearances by film stars, sports stars and other celebrities and honoring the American heroes who are helping their fellow Americans through the COVID crisis.
“Celebrating America”, to be hosted by Tom Hanks from 8.30 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial, “will showcase the American people’s resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild,” the Presidential Inaugural Committee said in a press release.
Biden and Harris will be delivering remarks at the event.
A “Field of Flags” will cover the National Mall up to 13th Street to represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, DC, to attend the inauguration ceremonies.
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