The Most Moving Scenes From US President Joe Biden And Vice President Kamala Harris' Inauguration
The Americans officially welcome their new heads of state
At noon on Wednesday, January 21, the American people officially bid farewell to the Trump presidency and welcomed a new era helmed by Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States, and Kamala Harris, America's first-ever female VP and one of African and South Asian descent, at that.
US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were officially sworn in at the Capitol with millions from around the world watching one of the most momentous transitions of political power in the 21st century.
Though forgoing traditional inaugural day festivities and whole-day activities in light of COVID-related restrictions, US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' inauguration was much quieter but not any less celebrated. There to be with them as they took on the highest seats of American government were previous presidents and first ladies Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as George W. and Laura Bush, plus a few celebrity friends that performed, too.
As of this writing, US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' inauguration is just coming to a close, and with cameras capturing the day's highlights, we share some of the most moving moments from this big day in history.
Scroll down to see the scenes from US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' inauguration!
The night before
Less than 24 hours before they were sworn in, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool at the Capitol. Together with their spouses, they prepared for the celebrations—and the work—that lay ahead.
The National Mall was decorated with 400 flags that held a deeper meaning. With America's COVID death toll rising to 400,000, each flag was symbolic of the individuals who had lost their lives to the deadly disease and the promise of the Biden administration to better handle the nation's health crisis.
A new day begins
President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Atty. Doug Emhoff (the country's first First Gentleman in its history!) arrive at the steps of the US Capitol and greet the crowd some minutes before they are sworn in.
Changing of the guard
Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen attend the inauguration. Former President Donald Trump and Melania voluntarily skipped the occasion.
Former President Donald Trump waves a final goodbye as he departs from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland with his wife Melania to head to his luxury resort Mar-a-Lago in Florida. This is also where he held his farewell ceremony as the 45th US president. He is only the second president in US history who did not attend their successor's inauguration.
President Joe Biden is officially sworn in as the 46th president of the United States with his wife, first lady Dr. Jill Biden by his side.
In a historic first, Vice President Kamala Harris becomes America's first female VP. The fact that she is the daughter of two immigrant parents—a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, who were both successful academics and social activists in their time—makes her victory all the more memorable and special.
Vice President Kamala Harris is all smiles behind her mask after she's sworn in.
Here is President Joe Biden sharing an intimate moment with his family. He shares an embrace with Dr. Jill Biden and their daughter Ashley, as well as Hunter Biden, Joe's son from his first marriage. (See Kamala Harris smiling in the background, too!).
It's a known fact that President Joe Biden is incredibly close to his entire family. His granddaughters were especially active and vocal supporters of his campaign, and here they are supporting their granddad on the biggest day of his career.
Kamala Harris, though having no kids of her own with her husband, still celebrated with her extended family nonetheless. Many were moved by the sight of a family of mixed racial heritage being at the center of one of the most important events in American politics, and marked its departure from the Trump administration's attitudes towards people of color.
Atty. Doug Emhoff congratulates his wife with a big hug in celebration of her making history, President Joe Biden heads to the White House with little ceremony as he embarks on the journey of four years of presidency, and President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk to the White House for the first time as the official holders of the highest seats of power in the country.
(See third photo) It's not the first time President Biden will reside at the White House. For eight years, he served as the nation's VP alongside former President Barack Obama. Here they are giving each other a fist bump, the casual greeting being one of the best things about their political bromance that have endeared them to so many.
Lady Gaga and former president Barack Obama also had their own moment at the inauguration. The singer is a known supporter of the Democratic party and campaigned for both Obama and Biden during their presidential bids. She performed at the inauguration and sang the US national anthem.
A subtle clapback
Jennifer Lopez also performed at the inauguration and stunned everyone with her beautiful all-white ensemble. The real clincher in her performance, however, is how she addressed viewers in Spanish - a subtle jab to counter former President Trump's anti-Hispanic and anti-immigration attitudes and policies that defined his presidency.
Michelle Obama has always been a staunch advocate for the potential of black girls and women. She continued to support them even after her time as first lady and at the inauguration, it wasn't any different. She brings to the spotlight Amanda Gorman, a young black writer, who was officially this inauguration's poet. Amanda spoke about unity and purpose, rousing the crowd to cheer and applaud her message.
Previous presidents and first ladies Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as George W. and Laura Bush stand in honor of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Straight to work
Wasting no time, President Joe Biden headed straight to the White House after he was sworn in to work on the day's most important things: reversing damaging policies the previous administration had put into action. Here he is signing executive orders that address the COVID crisis, climate change, and immigration policies. He signed 17 EOs all in all in his first few hours of being president.
President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden are photographed for the first time as they stand in the White House balcony and admire the view.
A photo captures President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden watching a fireworks display that concluded the day's events. The pretty sight came after performances by Katy Perry, John Legend, Lin Manuel Miranda, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, and the Foo Fighters, all musicians who supported the Biden-Harris team.
Lead photos from @abscbnnews @bbcnews @foxnews @people