“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve,” President Joe Biden said in his inaugural address today after being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.
Biden pledged to be a president for all Americans. “I promise you; I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did,” he said.
He added that with unity, our country can do great and important things.
“We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.”
The day marked an important first as Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman and first person of color to serve as our nation’s vice president.
“Don’t tell me things can’t change!” Biden said.
Teachers across the country celebrated that they now have a friend and colleague in educator and NEA member Dr. Jill Biden in the White House.
Many also found inspiration in the words of Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman. “There is always light. Only if we are brave enough to see it. There is always light. Only if we are brave enough to be it.”
PBS has a lesson plan available for discussing Gorman’s inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb” with middle and high school students.
“My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we’re going to need each other,” Biden said. “We need all our strength to persevere–to persevere through this dark winter. We’re entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation.”
Biden is set to get to work right away, signing a number of executive orders later today. Some of the executive orders he is expected to sign include a nationwide face mask and social distancing requirement on federal properties and by federal employees, a restructuring of the federal government’s coordination of the COVID-19 pandemic, a defense of the Dreamers program for undocumented young Americans, an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, and a continued pause on student loan payments until September 30.