Washington: Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States of America on Wednesday, declaring that ‘democracy has prevailed’ as he took the helm of a deeply divided nation and inherited a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.
Biden’s inauguration came at a time of national tumult and uncertainty, a ceremony of resilience as the hallowed American democratic rite unfurled at a US Capitol battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks ago.
The chilly Washington morning was dotted with snow flurries, but the sun emerged just before Biden took the oath of office, the quadrennial ceremony persevering even though it was encircled by security forces evocative of a war zone and devoid of crowds because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who hails from Tamilnadu, broke the barrier that has kept men at the top ranks of American power for more than two centuries when she took the oath Wednesday to hold the nation’s second-highest office.
Hours after she was sworn in as the first female US vice president — and the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent in the role — she cast the moment as one that embodied “American aspiration.”
“Even in dark times we not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be,’ she said in brief remarks outside the Lincoln Memorial. ‘We are bold, fearless and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up.”