Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States (POTUS) on Wednesday, ending the four-year term Donald Trump.
Biden took the oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at a solemn ceremony at the U.S. Capitol which was snubbed by the outgoing president. President Biden spent more than four decades in Washington, including 36 years as a U.S. senator from Delaware and eight years as vice president to Barack Obama. At 78, he is the oldest U.S. president to be inaugurated.
The presidential inauguration took place in the shadow of a raging coronavirus pandemic which claimed 400,000 lives in the country.
“This is America’s day. This is democracy day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve,” Biden said in his inaugural speech. Democracy is precious and fragile, he added.
Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Harris became the first Black woman and the first person of South Asian descent to be elected to the vice presidency.
The Armed Forces Color Guard presented the colors, and singer Lady Gaga sang the national anthem. Entertainer Jennifer Lopez sang a medley of “This Land Is My Land” and “America the Beautiful,” while country singer Garth Brooks sang “Amazing Grace;” the U.S. Marine Band accompanied each of them.
In the audience were three former U.S. presidents, former Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress, the Supreme Court justices and family members of Biden and Harris.
Biden, Harris and the three former presidents left the U.S. Capitol following the inauguration and traveled to Arlington National Cemetery. After a lone bugler played “Taps,” the president and vice president lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.