Washington, DC – The United States kept the tradition of peaceful transition alive as Washington, DC witnessed another traditional inauguration from President Barack Obama to President-elect Donald Trump on the US Capitol, the seat of US lawmakers.
Outside on the streets there were hundreds of thousands of people, streaming into Washington to watch or protest as President-elect Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th US president.
The Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administered the oath of office under gray skies on the West Front of the Capitol, a part of a ceremony marking the peaceful transition of power. After the oath ceremony on the steps in front of the US Capitol, President Trump addressed the audience.
President Trump Speech
Outlining his “America First” strategy, President Trump said, “We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure falls into decay … One by one the factories shuttered and left our shores”
In his populistic Trump style, he added, “The wealth of the middle class has been ripped from their homes and redistributed all over the world – but that is the past and we are looking now only to the future.”
“The time for talk is over, now begins the hour of action,” said Trump in his speech, striking a note of patriotism with, “Whether we are black, brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.”
Trump said he will build new roads, bridges, airports, railways “with American hands and American labour.”
Trump is scheduled to attend two inaugural balls tonight to celebrate.
Morning to Church
Earlier this morning Trump and his wife, Melania left from Blair House to reach St John’s Episcopal Church for morning service. Then the Trumps arrived at the White House for coffee with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
President Obama and the first lady accompanied the Trumps in a motorcade to the US Capitol for the official ceremony, where they were joined by members of Congress, politicians as well as supporters.
Audience: Supporters and Protestors
Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in November’s election; George W Bush and his wife, Laura, as well as Jimmy Carter were in attendance.
George HW Bush, who was in hospital for respiratory problems, wrote a letter to Trump wishing him well and apologizing for missing the event due to health concerns.
According to rough estimates 800,000 to 900,000 people flooded the nation’s capital for the inauguration, but it was unclear whether they will be there in celebration or protest, officials said. President Barack Obama drew an estimated 1.8 million people to Washington when he took office eight years ago.
More than 50 House Democrats publicly refused to attend the ceremony amidst a feud between the newly elected president and the civil rights activist and congressman, John Lewis. Lewis was among the congressmen who were not in attendance. Some lawmakers have said they would instead attend the Women’s March on Washington, a protest set to take place a day after the inauguration.
Several demonstrations both protesting and supporting Trump are scheduled to take place around the city over the weekend. Most notably, the Women’s March on Washington is estimated to draw crowds of 200,000 people on January 21.
Interesting to note that the newly elected US president is sworn into office by the Chief Justice of the United States every four years by noon Eastern Time on January 20, as prescribed by the US Constitution. The incoming president was historically inaugurated on March 4, but the period of delay was shortened when the 20th Amendment was ratified in 1933.
Fashion: American Flag Colors
For the fashion minded, for her first day as first lady, Melania opted for a Jackie O-channeling look, wearing a Ralph Lauren ensemble as she and Donald Trump arrived for a church service at St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House.
Melania’s ensemble consists of a cashmere cropped jacket and mock turtleneck dress, suede gloves and a suede clutch, all in sky blue. In a departure from her usual shoulder-sweeping blowout, she wore her hair in an updo. The icy blue of Melania was rounded out by Trump’s patriotic red and white ensemble.