Students Watch Inauguration During Class

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated on Jan. 20


Jayce Haun

Sruthi Ramesh watches Joe Biden deliver his Inaugural Address in her 5th period class.

Sruthi Ramesh and Sabryn Gibson

“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be, a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will become the future.”

-Amanda Gorman

As one of the most contested elections in the history of this country, the controversial results of the recent presidential race had even teenagers talking about it.

Classes across Liberty’s campus watched intently as the 46th President of the United States of America, Joseph R. Biden Jr., was sworn in at 11 a.m. CST. The event was a historic one, as Kamala D. Harris (the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian) was inaugurated as the Vice President alongside Biden. President Trump was notably missing from the event, though he has promised a peaceful transfer of power behind the scenes.

We pledge today never to take our democracy for granted as we celebrate its remarkable strength. We celebrate its resilience, its grit. ”

— Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

Freshman Madeline Claravall watched the event unfold during class. “I thought it was really powerful, especially since it’s one of a kind, and it’s making history,” she said.

The event was televised, as always; but it wasn’t filled with the normal crowd of citizens that have always been present at inaugurations in the past. Important figures such as former presidents and lawmakers were masked and socially distanced. But due to the current pandemic and looming security threats after the Capitol Attack on Jan. 6, almost no extra tickets were given out for citizens to attend. Instead, the usually packed National Mall in D.C. was filled with 200,000 flags to represent all 56 of the US states and territories.

Social Studies teacher Ms. Fedderson watched the Inauguration with her class during 5th and 6th period. 

“I thought it was very professional, very well done and I was glad it all went smoothly,” she said. In regards to the presidential race, she said: “I think this election has had a lot more turmoil than past elections, a lot of America is really divided right now and that came out in the election.” 

Speeches about the importance and sanctity of democracy were made by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) and Missouri Senator Roy Blunt (R). In addition, poet and activist Amanda Gorman, delivered a poem about America’s resilience, becoming the nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate.

This is not a moment of division. It’s a moment of unification. A new administration begins and brings with it a new beginning. And with that, our great national debate goes forward and a determined democracy will continue to be more essential in pursuit of a more perfect union and a better future for all Americans,”

— Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Periodically between the proceedings, Lady Gaga performed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, Jennifer Lopez performed “America the Beautiful”, and Garth Brooks performed “Amazing Grace.” All performances were well received.

Of course, Biden’s Inaugural speech was the highlight of the event. “This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope. Of renewal and resolve,” began his speech. The main theme of his speech was of unity and his promise to be a good president to all Americans, even the ones who didn’t vote for him.

Junior Preston Opella was not a supporter of Biden, but believes in the importance of young people being informed about politics. “…Because if you’re uninformed you can make a stupid decision that can have a terrible outcome,” he said.

The Inaugural Ball, which usually follows the daytime Inauguration events, was replaced with a televised event featuring celebrities such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Bon Jovi, Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jose Andres, Dolores Huerta, and Kim Ng.

Whether people are supporters of the new administration or not, it is safe to say that major changes to our country’s trajectory are in the immediate future.

“I have hope after today that we can look to a much more unified future,” Fedderson said.