On Wednesday, Jan. 20, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, and Vice President Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as the 49th Vice President of the United States — the first woman, the first Black American and the first Asian American to hold the position.
In his inaugural address, Biden vowed to “restore the soul of America,” as the nation grapples with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the tremors of a pro-Trump insurrection of the U.S. Capitol building that took place just two weeks earlier on Jan. 6.
“We have much to do in this winter of peril, and significant possibilities,” Biden said. “Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build and much to gain.”
Biden said he “will be a president for all Americans,” and he called on people to come together as the authors of a better story for America.
“The American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us — on we, the people, who seek a more perfect union,” he said.
“Together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear,” Biden added. “Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity. Love and healing. Greatness and goodness.”
Absent from the inauguration ceremony was now-former President Donald Trump (R) and former First Lady Melania Trump, who headed instead to Florida.
Former Presidents Barack Obama (D), George W. Bush (R), and Bill Clinton (D) attended the ceremony with former First Ladies Michele Obama and Laura Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as did now-former Vice President Mike Pence (R) and former Second Lady Karen Pence.
Former President Jimmy Carter, the remaining living former U.S. president, and former First Lady Rosalyn Carter, both in their 90s, were not in attendance.
Maryland officials congratulated Biden and Harris after they were sworn in as the nation’s top leaders.
Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who attended the inauguration ceremony, pledged to work with Biden “for the betterment of the people of Maryland” on matters they can agree upon, and to act with “civility and respect” when they disagree.
“Our nation faces unprecedented challenges,” Hogan said in a statement. “We must defeat this pandemic, restore economic prosperity, and show Americans that we can deliver solutions to the serious problems that face us. We can only do that if we turn the page on the hate and dysfunction that infects our politics and deliver real, bipartisan action.”
Through the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, we show the world that the Constitution, the rule of law, and the will of the people ultimately prevail in the United States of America. My full statement on the inauguration of President @JoeBiden: pic.twitter.com/Tcmfu70Nt0
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) January 20, 2021
In October, Hogan chose not to vote for Biden or former President Donald Trump, instead writing in former President Ronald Reagan, who died in 2004.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, a Democrat, tweeted his congratulations to Biden and Harris.
“I look forward to parntering with this Admin for the benefit of Baltimoreans over the next 4 years,” Scott said.
I would like to congratulate President @JoeBiden and Vice President @KamalaHarris on their inauguration as leaders of our country. This is a momentous occasion for all Americans. I look forward to partnering with this Admin for the benefit of Baltimoreans over the next 4 years.
— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) January 20, 2021
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., a Democrat, tweeted that he is “looking forward to the progress we’ll make in the years ahead.”
Together, in partnership with the Biden Administration, we will continue to do all we can strengthen our communities right here in Baltimore County.
— County Executive Johnny Olszewski (@BaltCoExec) January 20, 2021
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball noted the historic significance of watching Harris become the first Black, Asian-American and woman vice president, for him “as the father of two beautiful brown daughters.”
Ball, a Democrat, also highlighted some of the challenges that Biden and Harris will face, including addressing racial justice, climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.
“This moment calls for all of us as Americans to join together and continue the hard, unfinished work of creating a more perfect union for all,” Ball said in a statement.
On behalf of Howard County residents, we congratulate President Biden and Vice President Harris on their historic inauguration today. We hope and pray for their safety, good judgment, and sound management of our nation over these next four years.
Read: https://t.co/iJqdyyASMk pic.twitter.com/68Sjvqxc0f
— Calvin Ball (@HoCoGovExec) January 20, 2021
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) called the inauguration a “new day for America” and a “new beginning” respectively. Both of Maryland’s U.S. senators pointed to the work ahead to heal and unify the nation.
It’s a new day for America. We face extraordinary challenges, but we can meet this moment by working together with @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris to heal our country, stride boldly into the future, and pursue a more perfect and equal union. #Inauguration2021 https://t.co/ggEBikiaSs
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) January 20, 2021
“Unity is the path forward,” @JoeBiden.
Today’s a new beginning. Let’s get to work. pic.twitter.com/gDwdsBCHjE
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) January 20, 2021
Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) prayed for Harris and Biden’s success as they “begin to confront the challenging tasks ahead, working in service to our country and in defense of our Consitution.”
I hope all Americans, no matter who they voted for last year, will join in praying for the success of our new @POTUS and @VP as they begin to confront the challenging tasks ahead, working in service to our country and in defense of our Constitution.
— Steny (Wear a Mask) Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) January 20, 2021
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), said he looks forward to working with Biden and Harris to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 400,000 residents of the United States.
Congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on this extraordinary moment of such great promise. I look forward to working closely with you to see America through this deadly pandemic and to get back on the road to progress and well-being for all.
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) January 20, 2021
Raskin served as the lead manager in the U.S. House of Representatives’ impeachment of Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, and he is serving as the lead manager again in the U.S. Senate’s impeachment trial of Trump.
Maryland Senate President said in a Facebook post that Biden and Harris’s “leadership and message of unity, accountability, and progress has never been more important than right now.”
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who grew up in Baltimore City, said the inauguration “delivers a much-needed breath of fresh air to the American people.”
Today’s inauguration delivers a much-needed breath of fresh air to the American people. Tune in as we mark the start of the Biden Administration. #InaugurationDay #Inauguration2021 https://t.co/5ZLUJF6n98
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 20, 2021