A U.S. presidential inauguration is typically a joyous event full of pomp and circumstance, with hundreds of thousands gathering on the National Mall in Washington to hear the incoming Commander in Chief lay out his vision for the country.
This year, however, the Mall will be shut down to visitors, and only a small number of attendees will be permitted to watch Biden take the oath of office and deliver his first speech as president.
Instead of a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, there will be a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Instead of balls, there will be Zoom parties. Instead of hundreds of thousands congregating on the Capitol grounds and on the National Mall, there will be thousands of National Guard members.
The Capitol building is seen with decorative flags on the National Mall on Tuesday in Washington, DC. Tight security measures are in place for Inauguration Day due to greater security threats after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6
Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez poses on the steps to the House of Representatives with the US Capitol dome behind her for her personal photographer as she leaves the US Capitol building following an inauguration ceremony rehearsal
Jennifer Lopez sings as rehearsal takes place as National Guard troops provide security at the U.S. Capitol for the upcoming inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden
The measures reflect restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus and heightened security after a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol two weeks ago, sending lawmakers into hiding and leaving five people dead, including a police officer.
Tens of thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in the U.S. capital after law enforcement warned some extremist Trump backers were calling for more violence.
And law enforcement officials are contending not only with the potential for outside threats but also with rising concerns about an insider attack by troops with a duty to protect him.
There have been no specific threats made against Biden.
The nation’s capital is essentially on lockdown.
A general view of the National Mall on the eve of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, in Washington
Preparations continue one ahead of the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden at the US Capitol in Washington
More than 25,000 troops and police have been called to duty. Tanks and concrete barriers block the streets. The National Mall is closed. Fencing lines the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol complex. Checkpoints sit at intersections. The U.S. Secret Service, which is in charge of the event, says it is prepared.
Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in Biden; Justice Sonya Sotomayor will swear in Kamala Harris as vice president.
Among the celebrities who will bring star power to Biden´s inauguration are Lady Gaga, who will sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ and Jennifer Lopez, who will give a musical performance.
Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman will read an original poem, ‘The Hill We Climb.’
A president´s inauguration speech is designed to set the tone and the policies the new administration will pursue. Biden´s speech will focus on how he will seek to make good on the theme he has chosen for the inauguration, ‘America United’.
The inaugural platform on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol as seen from the National Mall on the eve of the 59th Presidential Inauguration when Joseph R. Biden will be sworn in as the next President of the United States
The inaugural platform on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol as seen from the National Mall
Jennifer Lopez sings as rehearsal takes place as National Guard troops provide security at the U.S. Capitol
Socially distanced chairs are seen on the the stage on Capitol Hill in Washington
A Capitol police officer stands amongst social distance chairs set up for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony
As the January. 6 insurrection at the Capitol showed, the challenge before him is daunting.
President Donald Trump has opted not to attend the inauguration, becoming the first president to do so since Andrew Johnson in 1869. The tradition of a president attending his successor’s inauguration began with George Washington and projects to the country and the world that America is transitioning to new leadership freely and in peace.
Biden and Harris are urging supporters to stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic. The National Mall is closed and just a fraction of the tickets usually handed out for an inauguration will be distributed.
About 200,000 small U.S. state and territorial flags have been installed on the National Mall, representing those who can’t attend.
A few lawmakers from both parties have indicated that they will not be attending out of safety concerns following the attack on the Capitol.
Vice President Mike Pence and most members of Congress are expected to attend. The lawmakers can bring one guest. In previous inaugurations, lawmakers scored hundreds of tickets to distribute to friends, donors and constituents.
J.Lo took time to sit with her crew in preparation for Wednesday’s big performance at the inauguration
Security runs high in Washington as preps continue for the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Jennifer Lopez rehearses on the inaugural stage
inger and actress Jennifer Lopez stops to take a selfie with a group of Maryland National Guard soldiers as she leaves the US Capitol building following an inauguration ceremony rehearsal in Washington
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton are expected to attend. Former President Jimmy Carter, 96, and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, 93, will not, though they have extended their ‘best wishes.’
After taking the oath, the new president will make his way to the other side of the Capitol for the long-standing tradition of the new commander in chief inspecting the troops. The Pass in Review ceremony is designed to reflect the peaceful transfer of power. Every branch of the military will be presented, though this year´s participants will socially distance to deter the spread of the virus.
The traditional congressional lunch won’t occur because of COVID-19 concerns, but Biden is expected to take care of some business before leaving the Capitol.
After the Pass in Review ceremony, the Bidens and Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery´s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The former presidents and first ladies will join them.
The traditional inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue has been dramatically scaled back. Instead, after visiting Arlington National Cemetery, Biden will receive a presidential escort – and a short one, at that. It will extend just a few hundred yards to the White House rather than the 1.6-mile route of previous inaugurations. The proceedings will provide the world with the images of Biden going to his new home without attracting large crowds. Again, every branch of the military will participate in the escort, and the marchers will socially distance.
The Reflecting Pool is lighted as a Covid-19 Memorial in front of the Washington Monument in Washington
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (2nd L) with husband Douglas Emhoff and US President-elect Joe Biden (R) with wife Dr. Jill Biden watch as a Covid-19 Memorial is lighted at the Lincoln Memorial
Pedestrians walk next to the razor-topped fence around the US Capitol Building the night before the Inauguration of Joe Biden
Lights shine into the night behind the US Capitol Building in tribute to those who have died from Covid-19 the night before the Inauguration of Joe Biden
National Guardsmen patrol the US Capitol Building the night before the Inauguration of Joe Biden
National Guardsmen patrol the US Capitol Building on Tuesday night
National Guardsmen sit on a police car the night before the Inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president
National Guardsmen patrol the US Capitol Building the night before the Inauguration of Joe Biden
National Guard troops in riot gear wait to enter the Red Zone near the Capitol
National Guard troops march towards an entry point into the inauguration’s Red Zone. All Quiet In D.C. on the last day of Trump’s presidency
National Guardsmen patrol the US Capitol Building the night before the Inauguration
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and in the wake of the siege at the US Capitol on January 6, Biden’s inauguration is set to be unlike any other in U.S. history
A worker adjusts decorative flags on the National Mall on January 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. Tight security measures are in place for Inauguration Day due to greater security threats after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6
A view of the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, ahead of the 59th Presidential Inauguration
Preparations are made ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s Presidential Inauguration in front of the White House
Biden and Harris are due to take the oath of office in front of the US Capitol at around 12pm, and will be joined by an array of politicians, celebrities and guest speakers
Virtual parades will be televised and feature performances from around the country. The inaugural committee says the programming will include musical acts, local bands, poets and dance troupes. An emphasis will be placed on paying homage to Americans on the front lines of the pandemic.
In past inaugurations, participants would don their tuxedos and ball gowns and attend one of the many inaugural balls and galas taking place around town. This year, state Democratic Parties and advocacy groups will hold virtual balls.
Actor Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute prime-time TV special with performances by Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons.
According to producers, the program ‘will showcase the American people´s resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild.’
Lady Gaga prepared for the performance of a lifetime as she toured the Capitol building on Tuesday afternoon ahead of inauguration day.
The 34-year-old vocal powerhouse paid homage to the suffragettes with an all-white ensemble while visiting with National Guards after rehearsals.
Blessings: Lady Gaga prepared for the performance of a lifetime as she toured the Capitol building on Tuesday afternoon ahead of inauguration day
Gaga bowed her head as she stood underneath The Apotheosis of Washington in the eye of the Rotunda, which was painted in 1865 by the true fresco technique by Constantino Brumidi.
Her platinum blonde tresses were worn braided in a chic updo as she stood below the awe-inspiring mural wearing a white suit and cape.
‘I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans,’ she captioned the photo. ‘A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear.
Gratitude: The 34-year-old vocal powerhouse paid homage to the suffragettes with an all-white ensemble while visiting with National Guards after rehearsals
‘I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans,’ she captioned the photo. ‘A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear’
‘A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls. Love, from the Capitol.’
Gaga is set to sing the national anthem for the swearing-in ceremony that will take place on the west front of the US Capitol, according to Variety.
Two weeks ago to the day of Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony, a group of white terrorists and MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol while Congress was in session to confirm electoral votes acknowledging Joe Biden’s win in November’s presidential election.
The Capitol riot led to the deaths of five people and the second impeachment of the 45th president, who was later banned from multiple social media platforms.
Strike a pose: She is set to perform at the 59th Presidential Inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. And one day prior, Jennifer Lopez took to her Instagram to share a snap of herself before boarding her private jet to Washington D.C
Jetting off: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are pictured boarding a private jet in Los Angeles on Tuesday as they make their way to D.C. for Biden’s inauguration where John will be performing
She was a fixture in his 2020 presidential bid, and in 2017, Gaga — who’s full name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta — worked with Joe to raise awareness about sexual assault and abuse.
‘I’m not only with a great friend, but a fierce advocate,’ Biden said while sitting next to the Just Dance songstress.
‘Lady Gaga has been the voice for people who have been forgotten and people who have been abused … Well it happened to her. She’s shown enormous courage. And we want to make it real clear.
‘It’s on us, it’s on everyone to intervene — to stop abuse when they see it and when they hear about it, to intervene. No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman for any reason other than self-defense. Ever. Period.’