Biden inauguration theme will be ‘America United’
The theme of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week will be “America United,” planners announced Monday, a reference to his pledge to bring the country together when he takes office.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee also said that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery alongside former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton after the inauguration ceremonies, in a show of bipartisanship. Their spouses will also participate.
The committee separately plans to install an art display on the National Mall called the “Field of Flags” comprised of 191,500 U.S. flags and 56 pillars of light. These are intended to represent Americans who cannot travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the inauguration on Jan. 20 in person due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Individuals can donate to a group of nonprofit organizations selected by the committee as its partners in service in order to become a “symbolic sponsor” of the flag display.
“This inauguration marks a new chapter for the American people — one of healing, of unifying, of coming together, of an America united,” Presidential Inaugural Committee Chief Executive Officer Tony Allen said in a statement Monday.
“It is time to turn the page on this era of division. The inaugural activities will reflect our shared values and serve as a reminder that we are stronger together than we are apart, just as our motto ‘e pluribus unum’ reminds us — out of many, one,” Allen continued.
The planners are significantly adjusting the inauguration in order to incorporate safety precautions due to COVID-19. Planners are urging Americans to watch the ceremony from home and the number of tickets given to members of Congress has been significantly limited. The Presidential Inaugural Committee, in coordination with the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, is responsible for planning the inaugural activities.
There are also heightened security concerns around the inauguration, after a mob of President Trump’s supporters breached the U.S. Capitol last week in a deadly and dark episode that was egged on by President Trump.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has asked for increased security around the days leading up to and following the inauguration in the wake of the attack on the Capitol.
“We believe strongly that the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection,” Bowser wrote in a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf over the weekend.
“While I will be reaching out to a broad range of local, regional, and federal partners to enhance cooperation among our bodies, I strongly urge the United States Department of Homeland Security to adjust its approach to the Inauguration in several specific ways,” she wrote.
Trump said last week he will not attend the inauguration. Vice President Pence is expected to attend in some capacity.
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