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Inauguration Day finally arrives; a new chapter dawns

If there ever was an Inauguration Day that will be anticipated, or unfortunately, worrisome, it’s today’s event.

Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States amid the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic, meaning social distancing will be in effect. Kamala Harris also will be sworn in as the first Black American and the first South Asian American woman vice president.

Citizens still can note the event. According to washington.org, the Presidential Inaugural Committee asks people to stay home and celebrate virtually.

Past presidents and Vice President Mike Pence are set to attend, with the notable exception of Donald Trump, who probably still doesn’t accept the election results.

A pall that’s hanging over today, though, stems from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by rioters trying to overturn Trump’s defeat.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is responsible for planning and executing inaugural ceremonies of the president-elect and vice president-elect. It released a statement on Jan. 7 from U.S. Senators Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, chairman of the JCCIC, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration:

“Since 1901, the Joint Committee has been entrusted to plan and host the inaugural ceremonies every four years to mark the transition to a new presidential administration or the commencement of a new presidential term — thus fulfilling the 20th Amendment of the Constitution.

“Yesterday was a sad and solemn day for our country. The outrageous attack on the Capitol, however, will not stop us from affirming to Americans — and the world — that our democracy endures. Our committee’s bipartisan, bicameral membership remains committed to working with our many partners to execute ceremonies that are safe and showcase our determined democracy.

“The great American tradition of an inaugural ceremony has occurred in times of peace, in times of turmoil, in times of prosperity, and in times of adversity. We will be swearing in President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021.”

The theme of Inauguration Day is “America United,” and now is the time for that to happen.

With the domestic terrorism that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, many feared that today would attract a similar insurrection. Fortunately, thousands of National Guard members have been called up, and extra security fencing has been put in place.

As of this writing, we have yet to know what will transpire on Inauguration Day.

We believe that although people have a right to protest, they must protest peacefully. Now is the time to move past heavily partisan politics and work together for the good of the American people.

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