Inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris Focuses on Unity
January 20, 2021, 7:48 AM HST
* Updated January 20, 11:33 AM
Joe Biden was sworn in today as the 46th President of the United States, alongside Vice President Kamala Harris.
*Video credit: Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies / Biden Inaugural Committee / Instagram / White House. gov
In his inaugural address, President Biden said, “Today we celebrate not the triumph of a candidate but of a cause–a cause of democracy. The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded. We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed.”
He also addressed the violence that took place at the nation’s Capitol two weeks ago saying, “Now on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago, violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation, we’ve come together as one nation under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.”
President Biden also looked to the future saying, “As we look ahead in our uniquely American way–restless, bold, optimistic–and set our sights on the nation that we know we can be, and we must be.”
The newly sworn in President also addressed the challenges as the world continues to deal with the impacts of an ongoing pandemic. “Few people in our nation’s history have been challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now. A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country has taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of WWII. Millions of jobs have been lost, hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us–the dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.”
In all these challenges, he pointed towards unity as a theme.
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino released a statement following the inauguration saying:
Mayor Michael Victorino released the following statement today:
“On behalf of the people of Maui County, I offer heartfelt congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their historic inauguration today. This is a day of renewed hope, healing and a new beginning for the American people. It will take all of us, regardless of our political differences, to restore empathy and optimism to our democracy. Let’s unite and help to rebuild our nation starting at the community level, always guided by the Aloha Spirit.”
US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) was among the dignitaries who issued statements calling the inauguration event a “day of hope.” He said:
“The last four years have been difficult. It has tested the very idea of who we are as a country and what we stand for. We have experienced historic challenges, real pain, and a despicable attack on our Capitol two weeks ago today. But through it all, our democracy has endured, and there is reason to be hopeful.
“With the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris today, we have a chance to unite our country and move into a new direction – one that is focused on ending the pandemic, helping struggling families and small businesses, creating new jobs, and building back a better, fairer, more inclusive country. Together, we’ll work to fight climate change, expand health care, protect benefits for Hawai‘i’s seniors, and ensure our state continues to get its fair share of federal dollars.
“It won’t be easy, and there will be setbacks that come with success, but I am confident that this new administration will always strive to do good, to help people, and to work towards ‘a more perfect union’ that our founders believed in.”
Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) issued the following statement:
“After four years of chaos, division, and mindless cruelty, the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris offers a profound moment to turn the page, reflect on the challenges we face, and steel ourselves for the hard work to come.
“As this work begins today, I draw strength from the challenge President Biden issued to all of us to defend the truth and unite to confront the multiple crises facing our country. Working together, I am hopeful that we can defeat this pandemic, reinvigorate our economy, combat the climate crisis, and confront systemic racism in our country.”