The United States experienced its first peaceful transition of power in 1801 when Thomas Jefferson took office in 1801. On Jan. 20, 2021, this tradition of a peaceful transition of power continued, welcoming the Biden-Harris administration, and saying farewell to the Trump-Pence administration.
The 2021 inauguration made history in many ways. Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice president, making her the first woman and the first woman of color to be vice president. She is now the highest-ranking woman in the United States. Joe Biden was sworn in as president, making him the oldest president to ever hold office at 78 years old. This was also the first inauguration in history to denounce white supremacy.
Here, the staff of the Carlow Chronicle give their opinions about the historic 2021 presidential inauguration.
Miranda Depkon: Even though I have never followed politics, I was very moved to hear the speeches given at the presidential inauguration. As a woman, I feel honored that I get to watch the first female Vice President be sworn into office. I really enjoyed that Biden encouraged our country to come back together as one to start rebuilding.
Alaina Dopico: Of the 2021 inauguration, I appreciated the poem by Amanda Gorman. I As a poet, it has been encouraging to see the coverage she has gotten since the inauguration. She was brave to reference Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton twice. President Biden was also brave in acknowledging the “rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront, and we will defeat.” He became the first president to mention white supremacy in his inauguration speech. Because these things are and have been grave and serious threats, I hope his presidency is full of the momentum his words pronounce.
Maria Gorscak: Watching the 2021 presidential inauguration felt like a breath of fresh air. With all of the chaos this country has recently faced, it was nice to take a step back and witness this historical event. It was also comforting to hear Biden talk about the unity of our country, and how both “sides” should come together in order to rebuild. Apart from this, it was exciting to see the first woman vice president sworn in, which is a huge step for America.
Anamarie Martinez: Just 14 days before the 2021 presidential inauguration, the United States Captial was attacked, yet a peaceful transition of power was still able to continue. This inauguration was important because it showed to both Americans and other countries that the United States is still strong and resilient. The new commander in chief proved at his inauguration that he is dedicated to change within the country, and that he will not allow the racists, terroristic behavior that has been looked over in the past. During his inauguration, Biden said, “don’t tell me things can’t change,” and the United States needs change now more than ever.
Caitlin McDonough: The inauguration was relieving after such a long four to five years of exhausting, repetitive, and blatant sexism, racism, and lies. I was relieved to not see any violence, hatred, or manipulative and narcissistic language. Seeing two amazing women of color on stage in front of the world, Kamala Harris and Amanda Gorman, made me proud to be a woman and thankful for how far the United States has finally come. Harris is someone who knows the struggles of being a woman, of being overlooked and not taken seriously, and of being told that she is asking for too much, and I’m so thankful to see her as the new vice president.
Kaitlyn Stamm: When watching the inauguration, I felt a huge wave of relief and excitement. It was the first time in years I had felt a sense of pride for our country. I know this is just the beginning of bringing the country back together again, but I do feel slightly anxious about the divided nature of our nation. I am hopeful this presidency will be able to unite us once again. It is so incredible that we removed Trump from office, and we elected Biden and our first woman vice president. We were able to witness our first African American president’s inauguration in 2009 and now in 2020 our first African American women as vice president.
Guinevere Stearns: When watching the inauguration on Jan. 20 it felt like watching history. I was so proud to witness someone elected to office that wants to change things for the better and has a team of intelligent and hardworking people. I also saw someone point out that it was interesting that Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama, and Hillary Clinton all wore purple to the inauguration because purple is the mix of blue and red. Regardless of whether they planned that or not, it is certainly time to close the enormous gap between the parties that has been growing further and further apart these past four years.
Meghan Vence: I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and joy after the 2021 presidential inauguration. We got to watch Kamala Harris officially become the first woman vice president. It is an exciting but long-overdue milestone, and I do not think it could have come at a better time. The last four years have definitely been interesting, but I am glad we can start to move forward. Hearing our nation’s new leader acknowledge political extremism, white supremacy, and domestic terrorism was reassuring. While I certainly do not think Biden’s Inauguration is going to magically fix all of America’s issues, I feel it’s a big step in the right direction.
The inauguration was overall a very peaceful event. The peace was consistent throughout all the United States, and there were no major protests against the inauguration.
Directly after the inauguration, Biden signed 17 executive orders. Biden reversed many of former President Trump’s policies regarding immigration, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Biden administration has the next four years to show the American people why they elected him.