Attack on Capitol and COVID-19 pandemic force changes to Biden’s Inauguration

Madelaine Province

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With the divisiveness felt within America over the last four years, feelings about this year’s Presidential Inauguration were mixed. Some were feelings of joy and hope, others of disappointment and anger. However, feelings aside, January 20, 2021 is a day that will be remembered. 

It was reported by NBC News that 25,000 National Guard members were called up to keep the event secure, extra security fencing was set up near the Capitol and the White House and numerous streets were shut down. These extra safety measures were taken because of the riot that occurred at the Capitol on January 6. Because of the never-before-seen level of security, many wondered if it was needed.

“I think th[e] security measures were necessary,” John Ruland, senior, said. “Although they were definitely designed to respond to actual threats, I think most of their effectiveness was preventative. Their presence may have scared some possible rioters away, and they sent a message to the American people and the world that the Inaugural ceremony would be protected. ”

The extra security was unprecedented, especially for something as seemingly simple and traditional as Inauguration Day. One might wonder how America is perceived by other countries after implementing this level of security.

“I do not think America’s reputation around the world is as terrible as many may think,” Nathan Pipes, history teacher, said. “I have traveled abroad and have friends from foreign nations. Among the world’s democratic nations, there is a perception that the American system is limited—primarily because of the two-party system.”

  There was also the seemingly never-ending problem of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing even more safety measures to be put in place for the health of the attendees. 

“I think that COVID had a negative impact on the crowd turnout, but everyone there was able to stay safe and still carry out the tradition,” Eli Minor, sophomore, said.

Despite the fear of another attack and the presence of the pandemic, the event was ultimately a success, putting many people all over the country in good spirits. 

It was so put together and so, so, so relieving,” Delilah Huck, sophomore, said. 

Huck’s opinion seemed to be shared by many, as several other students who were surveyed said they were pleased by the event. 

I was very excited,” Shawn Coleman, freshman, said. “That whole day I was watching the news and once Biden was inaugurated, I felt like we had serious change coming and we might finally have some transparency.”

Coleman is not alone in the hope that change is indeed coming soon. There are high hopes and expectations for the Biden presidency. 

“The biggest thing that I am excited for is the 100 million vaccines in 100 days promise,” Minor said. “If this goal is met, the pandemic will end in no time.”

The pandemic is such a prevalent issue right now, and Minor’s hope that it will come to an end soon is a popular one. 

“I hope we see a more organized and efficient response to the coronavirus, and a more respectful and coherent dialogue coming from the government,” Ruland said. “While Biden isn’t the most progressive leader in the world, I think he’s a good candidate to unify the country, and I hope he’ll […] use the power of a Democratic majority to implement long-term solutions to issues like social justice and climate change.”