The deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol just two weeks earlier loomed large over President Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The incoming president did not shy away from addressing it head on, issuing a call for national unity and an end to “this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.”
“Here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, and to drive us from this sacred ground,” Biden said in his inaugural address. “That did not happen.”
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Here are five key moments from Biden’s inauguration:
1. Biden makes direct appeal to Trump supporters in appeal for unity
Biden called the country to come together in his inaugural address.
“Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation. I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the common foes we face: Anger, resentment, hatred,” he said.
Biden said Americans “will defeat” a “rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism.”
“To overcome these challenges – to restore the soul and to secure the future of America – requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity,” he said.
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2. Trump skips, Pence attends
Vice President Mike Pence attended Biden’s inaugural ceremony on Wednesday after skipping outgoing President Donald Trump’s farewell address at Joint Base Andrews.
Pence aides told Fox News that it would be logistically challenging for the vice president to show up at both the presidential inauguration as well as the Trump farewell ceremony, which was held four hours earlier at Joint Base Andrews. Trump was the first president in more than a century and a half to not attend his successor’s inauguration.
Trump lashed out at Pence earlier in January after the vice president said he lacked authority under the Constitution to overturn election results on the president’s behalf. However, the president thanked him during his farewell address on Wednesday morning.
3. U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman escorts Harris
Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman escorted Vice President Kamala Harris into the Capitol building Wednesday ahead of the inauguration ceremony.
Goodman was promoted to acting deputy House sergeant at arms. He is being lauded as a hero, and Congress is considering giving him a gold medal after photographs emerged of him holding off a crowd of pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The mob stormed through the halls of the Capitol after breaching security just as lawmakers were meeting in a joint session to certify the results of the presidential election for Biden.
4. Amanda Gorman praised for ‘The Hill We Climb’ poem
Amanda Gorman can officially add being the youngest inaugural poet to her growing list of accolades.
The 22-year-old read her impassioned poem “The Hill We Climb” following Biden’s swearing-in. Her predecessors include the likes of Maya Angelou, Miller Williams and Elizabeth Alexander.
Gorman told the Associated Press that she was halfway through the poem prior to Jan. 6, but finished it later that night. On Wednesday, her reference to the riots was unmistakable.
“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
It can never be permanently defeated,” she read.
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5. Lady Gaga sings the national anthem
Lady Gaga performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” in person at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. She wore a blue and red custom Schiaparelli Haute Couture look designed by Daniel Roseberry.
Lady Gaga was a vocal supporter of Biden during the 2020 presidential race, although some of her efforts to whip up excitement for him on social media, like a video smashing a beer can on the ground while wearing camouflage imploring rural voters to go Democrat, sparked backlash.
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Fox News’ Matt Leach, Vandana Rambaran, Tyler McCarthy and Paul Steinhauser and Fox Business’ Blake Burman and Thomas Barrabi and the Associated Press contributed to this report.