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The Inauguration process timeline: what exactly will happen today?

Today Mr Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States in unique historical circumstances as COVID and riot fears result in an inauguration unlike ever before.

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This presidential inauguration will be unlike any of its predecessors, with the pandemic forcing the procedure to be altered to accommodate the necessity of remaining indoors, and militant Trump supporters sparking riot and security fears after the Capitol Hill incident on January 6 earlier this month.

25,000 armed National Guard troops poised as security during the inaugural process have had to be vetted by the FBI amidst further fears of an insider attack in Washington by far-right protestors, with rumours of QAnon infiltrating the outfit.

Trump stands accused of sparking violence with his despicable calls to subvert democracy and refusal to condemn groups using violence prior to the insurrection, after continually contesting the election results since Biden was officially declared the victor on November 10 2020.

Trump has since committed to a peaceful transition of power given the fatal events of the Capitol Hill storming. Regardless, he and his acolytes are responsible for stoking flames that led to the event, whipping up conspiracy surrounding electoral fraud and constantly encouraging protestors to find out the supposed truth.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced a menagerie of events to be broadcast via a livestream that Americans can view virtually, as people are urged not to attend in person due to COVID-19; crowds are extremely undesirable. Naturally the celebrations have been scaled back dramatically.

Biden-Harris ticket makes history on climate and environment
Biden and Harris back in 2020. Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Here is the hour by hour schedule of the complement of events set to happen later today:

10:00am (15:00pm GMT) Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans

“Our White House” is the very first curated livestream to be directly created for young Americans both before and during the Inaugural Ceremonies, expected to end around 12:30PM. Hosted by Nickelodeon, the stream will go live on Youtube later today, illustrating that we truly are in an era of peak political awareness as the youth of America are catered to directly.

The livestream, hosted by award-winning entertainer and advocate Keke Palmer, will feature a message from Dr. Jill Biden, commentary from historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Erica Armstrong Dunbar, a segment on presidential pets produced by Nickelodeon, excerpts of student voices from PBS NewsHour, trivia questions including some asked by Doug Emhoff, segments produced by the Library of Congress, and other unannounced features.

Many young Americans would have went to the Capitol Hill building in Washington DC in previous years with their families and other individuals, watching their new president being sworn into office.

12:00PM (17:00PM GMT) Inaugural Ceremony

The president-elect and Vice President-elect are anticipated to take the oath of office around 12PM at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, although official timings have yet to be released.

Biden is then expected to deliver his inaugural address to the nation, setting out his plans and vision for America in his term as president. Singing the national anthem is popstar Lady Gaga, while Jennifer Lopez is scheduled to provide a musical performance.

The Pass in Review – timing as of now undisclosed

When a new president is sworn in, members of the military observe a long-standing tradition, reflecting the peaceful transfer of power to the next president.

The President and Vice President will make their way to the East Front steps of the Capitol where they will review the troops before leading a procession of ceremonial military regiments, citizens’ groups, marching bands, and floats down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

The President, Vice President, their spouses, and special guests will then watch the parade as it passes in front of the Presidential Reviewing Stand. The Inaugural parade is a celebrated and much anticipated event for millions of Americans across the country.

The tradition of an Inaugural parade dates back to the very first Inauguration when George Washington took the oath of office on April 30 1789 in New York City. As he began his journey from Mount Vernon to New York City, local militias joined his procession as it passed through towns along the way. Once he arrived in New York City, members of the Continental Army, government officials, members of Congress and prominent citizens escorted Washington to Federal Hall for his swearing-in ceremony.

Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying Ceremony – timing as of now undisclosed

The newly sworn in President Biden and Vice President Harris will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a tradition to honour and pay respects to those in the military whom gave their life in service to the country.

Ceremonial wreath laying also occurs during state visits of foreign dignitaries, who pay formal respects to the sacrifices of America’s veterans by placing a wreath before the Tomb.

Former Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton, will join the new president and vice president for this ceremony, as is tradition.

The History of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier | National Review
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Credit: Staff Sergeant Terrance D. Rhodes/US Army

15:15PM (8:15PM GMT) Virtual Parade Across America

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive a presidential escort from 15th Street in Washington to the White House, in the historic traditional journey, without attracting large crowds and gatherings.

Following the escort, a virtual parade will be televised to citizens across America.

The entourage will include the University of Delaware Drumline and the Howard University Drumline from the alma maters of Biden and Harris. In addition to the drumlines, the escort will feature representatives of every branch of the military, including the U.S. Army Band, a Joint Service Honor Guard, and the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard Fife and Drum Corps from the 3rd U.S. Infantry “The Old Guard.”

Actor, director and producer Tony Goldwyn, who played U.S. President Fitzgerald Grant on “Scandal” opposite Kerry Washington, will host the parade.

Performers and athletes participating include comedian Jon Stewart, the band New Radicals; which will reunite for the first time in 22 years, DJ Cassidy’s Pass The Mic featuring Earth Wind & Fire; Nile Rodgers; Kathy Sledge; The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles; The Washington Chorus; The Triumph Baptist Church Choir and everyday American. Also participating are singer and actress Andra Day; whose song “Rise Up” has become featured at many social justice protests, figure skater Kaitlyn Saunders; also known as The Skate Kid, Olympic athletes Nathan Chen, Allyson Felix and Katie Ledecky, and skateboarder Nathan Apodaca; also known as DoggFace.

Featured Image: Getty Images

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