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Welcoming a new administration: Joe Biden inaugurated as 46th president

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The OSU College Democrats gather on Library Lawn in Celebration for President Elect Biden on November 7, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

In an inauguration ceremony dramatically downsized by the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States early Wednesday afternoon. 

The ceremony was held virtually, with few guests in attendance because of rising COVID cases in America. Security around the U.S. Capitol as a result of the security breach two weeks prior.

Biden’s hand placed on a 5-inch thick family bible, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath while Biden’s wife Dr. Jill Biden, son Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley Biden stood proud beside him. 

Vice President Kamala Harris made history by being the first female, first african american and first south asian Vice President to be sworn into office. Harris is set to play an important role in the new administration entering the White House.

The few guests who were in attendance to the 46th Inauguration included former President Obama with former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bush with former First Lady Laura Bush and former President Clinton with former First Lady Hillary Clinton. Other political figures were also present, such as former Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Rep. Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House?Nancy Pelosi. 

Though, the 45th President and First Lady were not in attendance for the 46th Presidential Inauguration.. Trump announced he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration after the attack on the capitol in early January. Along with Presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson, Trump has become the fourth President of the U.S. to not attend a preceding presidents inauguration.

Among political guests there were also celebrity performances from singer Lady Gaga, who performed the “Star Spangled Banner” and was followed by a performance of “This Land is your Land” and “America the Beautiful” by singer Jennifer Lopez. Oklahoma State’s very own country-singer Garth Brooks also performed at the ceremony. Dr. Jill Biden called Brooks herself asking him to perform, for Brooks has performed at every inauguration ceremony, except for Reagan and Trump, since former President Jimmy Carter was sworn into office. 

“This is America’s day,” President Biden started off his inaugural address. “This is democracy’s day.” 

“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. Unity.”