An American rite of passage marks a new political era

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"Biden" by adamwells is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

President Joe Biden was inaugurated by John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. At 78-years-old, Biden is the oldest person to take the Oval Office. Also sworn in on Wednesday, Kamala Harris who is the first female, and the first woman of color to be Vice President.

Washington D.C.

January 20, 20201

Noon.

I think Inauguration Day sets the tone of the next administration and shows how the next four years are going to go,”

— senior Lizzy Stone

Every four years, this moment marks the beginning of a new presidency in the United States. And after the four year term of the Trump presidency,  Joseph Biden was inaugurated as 46 President of the United States alongside Vice President, Kamala Harris

“I think today is significant because it kind of reinstates this idea that America is a two party system,” AP Government teacher Emily Griffin said. “And even though some people may see a transition to a different political party president as something that’s a detriment to the country, in reality, the country functions well with this two party system and when there’s that balance between both parties.”

The ceremony included the Oath of Office where the new president was sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts , and was followed by the inaugural address, a speech delivered by Biden setting the tone for his term. 

“Normally Inauguration Day is important in the U.S. because it brings the country together so that we can all look at the next president and what the future holds for the country,” senior Shira Silberman said. 

Prior to COVID-19, some government classes were scheduled to travel to Washington D.C. to watch the 2021 inauguration live, but it was cancelled due to COVID restrictions. 

“This is the first election I was able to vote in, so I thought going to D.C. would be a really good, once in a lifetime, experience,” senior Lizzy Stone said. “But I think Inauguration Day sets the tone of the next administration and shows how the next four years are going to go. It also is a reminder of what America is and stands for and how democracy unites everyone together.”

For senior Lily Young, the change in presidency shapes the future. 

“I think the leadership of our country determines the direction we head in,” she said. “So when leadership changes a lot of things in the U.S. change with it.”

Today is significant because it kind of reinstates this idea that America is a two party system,”

— AP Government teacher Emily Griffin

While only 18 year-old students were able to vote in this presidential election, Griffin encourages all students to remain active in current events beyond a change in the president, as it is the differences in beliefs that set the United States apart. 

“I think it’s really important for students to be involved because there’s so many things in society that we tend to focus on, that are superficial.” Griffin said. “But in reality, if you just choose one thing to care about and be passionate about and be politically opinionated about, then you’re making a difference like in the country, and we were founded on personal freedoms, and the people being the main influence. So just caring about one issue is a really important big deal.”