The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris occurred without a hitch on Wednesday. The occasion was marked by the presence of more than 25,000 National Guard troops and the absence of an in-person audience. President Biden’s speech was notably conciliatory, saying that “This is America’s day, this is democracy’s day.” He spoke of the need for unity and that our country needs to heal after a very divisive 2020.
The audience was mostly virtual due to the ongoing pandemic, but 200,000 American flags adorned the National Mall in a stunning visual representation of what the audience would look like. Many celebrities, politicians, and former presidents were in attendance. Former Vice President Mike Pence and Former Second Lady Karen Pence were also in attendance. True to his word, Former President Donald Trump and Former First Lady Melania Trump exited the White House early on Wednesday morning and boarded Marine One, en route to their Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida and did not attend the inauguration.
After the pomp and circumstance, President Biden got to work erasing Trump’s legacy through executive order. As his administration had previously announced, Biden signed 17 executive orders on his first day in office, many of them repealing orders that Trump had signed. Those included orders allowing the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline. He also signed orders terminating the travel ban to the United States from several Muslim majority countries and an order that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. More executive orders are expected in the coming days.