Meredith Newman Via Delaware News Journal
WASHINGTON – Today, Joe Biden will become president.
Standing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, and surrounded by a fortress, the Delawarean will place his hand on the Biden family Bible and take the oath to become the 46th president of the United States.
Very few people will witness it in person.
Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, downtown Washington has been closed to the public. A black barricade has been fortified around the Capitol as about 25,000 National Guard members, in addition to U.S. Secret Service and law enforcement officers, patrol the area.
Even before a violent mob on Jan. 6 invaded the Capitol – threatening the lives of members of Congress, their staff and reporters – the Presidential Inauguration Committee had urged the public to not travel to Washington due to COVID-19.
President Donald Trump will not attend any of the inauguration events. He is expected to fly to his Florida resort Mar-a-lago just before the inauguration festivities begin. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend.
After the inauguration ceremonies, Biden is expected to sign a slew of executive orders on his first day in office, many of which will overturn Trump administration policies.
Swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address, around noon: President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take their oaths on the west side of the Capitol. Biden will then deliver his inaugural address.
Pass in review: Biden, with Commander of Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, will review the readiness of military troops at the east side of the Capitol. Every branch of the military will be represented.
Arlington National Cemetery wreath-laying ceremony: The Bidens and Harris and husband Doug Emhoff visit Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They will be joined by President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush, Laura Bush, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Presidential escort: Biden will receive a presidential escort from 15th Street to the White House with every branch of the military present. The drumlines of the University of Delaware and Howard University – Biden's and Harris’ alma maters – will also escort the president.
Virtual Parade Across America: After the escort, there will be a “virtual” parade, which will feature a variety of performances.
“Celebrating America” prime-time special, 8:30-10 p.m.: The television program, hosted by actor Tom Hanks, will feature speeches by Biden and Harris as well as performances by artists such as the Foo Fighters, John Legend, Lin Manuel Miranda, Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons and Jon Bon Jovi. The program will be streamed on all of the major news networks and can be watched at BidenInaugural.org/watch.