Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president of the United States, two weeks after Capitol insurrection

National+Guard+soldiers+guard+the+streets+towards+the+Capitol+building+during+Joe+Biden%27s+inauguration+on+Jan.+20%2C+in+Washington+D.C.+There+were+over+25%2C000+national+guard+members+sent+to+the+Capitol+for+security.+Photo+credit%3A+Andrea+Lopez

National Guard soldiers guard the streets towards the Capitol building during Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, in Washington D.C. There were over 25,000 national guard members sent to the Capitol for security. Photo credit: Andrea Lopez

By Aleea Evangelista and Andrea Lopez

President Joe Biden began his presidency at the inauguration in D.C. as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20.

After a historic voter turnout for the 2020 presidential election, Biden won 306 electoral votes and declared the winner by the Electoral College on Dec. 14. The path to the inauguration was hindered by former President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede with claims of election fraud, which lead to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan, 6.

Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet and national youth poet laureate, recited her moving poem, “The Hill We Climb”.

“We are striving to forge a union with purpose,” recited Gorman. “To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.”

In an interview with the New York Times, Gorman explains her commissioned poem aimed to fit the inauguration’s theme of America United, a call for unity and healing.

Security was heightened in and around the capitol in anticipation of protests during Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, in Washington D.C.
Security was heightened in and around the Capitol in anticipation of protests during Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, in Washington D.C. Photo credit: Andrea Lopez

Due to the insurrection, security was increased in the Capitol. 25,000 National Guard troops were put on duty to protect the surrounding areas the day of inauguration. Surrounding neighborhoods close to the Capitol were enforced to remain indoors until the inauguration was over. It was strongly advised for Americans to participate in the inauguration via online.

Security in D.C. remained strict with many roads and freeways closed. Large barricades along with checkpoints surrounded entrances leading close to the Capitol. Pedestrians were allowed to walk a certain distance before being questioned or told to turn back.

Protestors stand out of the Capitol calling for reform to Immigration at Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, in Washington D.C.
Protestors stand out of the Capitol calling for reform to Immigration at Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, in Washington D.C. Photo credit: Andrea Lopez

During the inauguration, first amendment zones were provided for protesters to demonstrate, while law enforcement surrounded the zones. Among the large group of people and journalists around the Capitol, undercover security attended to ensure that protests remained safe and controlled.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an order for indoor dining and museums to be put on hold until Jan. 22. Businesses at a certain distance within the Capitol were shut down and boarded up while other businesses closed early for the day.

Buildings around the Capitol were boarded up before the Inauguration on Jan. 21, in Washington D.C.
Buildings around the Capitol were boarded up before the Inauguration on Jan. 21, in Washington D.C. Photo credit: Andrea Lopez

The inauguration proceeded safely and Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first Black woman to become the U.S. vice president.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor conducted Harris’s oath to office, an unprecedented ceremony within the history of all U.S. inaugurations.

Biden’s inaugural speech echoed the inauguration’s theme of America United, as he called for unity in order to combat the pandemic, racial equity and economic disparity.

“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal,” spoke Biden. “This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge and unity is the path forward.”

Biden concluded his inaugural address with a call for harmony, “And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear.”

Hours after the inauguration ceremony, Biden signed 15 executive decisions and two directives spanning urgent matters from COVID-19 restrictions to DACA.