January 20th, 2017 marks the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Regardless of your party affiliation, this is a critical moment in American history. It is unlikely that there has ever been such a controversial, contested or challenging presidential campaign in recent history, and it would be surprising if another happened again soon. The following are five key moments from President Trump’s inauguration.
1. At least 67 democratic congressmen and women refused to attend President Trump’s inauguration
Many members of congress decided weeks before the inauguration that they would not be in attendance either because they disagreed with a Trump presidency or because they wanted to make it clear to which side of the aisle they belonged. More recently, however, many congress people decided not to attend the inauguration in a show of solidarity with civil rights activist Representative John Lewis, who was on the receiving end of a tweet from Trump claiming that all Lewis did was engage in rhetoric, instead of taking action.
2. This was the first time Hillary Clinton saw Donald Trump since the election
Hillary Clinton arrived to the Capitol on the morning of the inauguration wearing white – the color of the suffragette movement. She was accompanied by her husband, 43rd President of the United States Bill Clinton. When prompted by a CNN reporter, Hillary Clinton refused to answer the question of how it felt to be at the inauguration. This was a sensitive topic, especially because she would witness the transition of power between both of the men that caused her to lose her chance at holding the position of president.
3. Chuck Schumer’s poorly disguised critique of Donald Trump
Chuck Schumer, senate minority leader and New York Senator, was the only democrat to give a speech at the inauguration. He took this opportunity to make bold political statements and critiques of Donald Trump’s impending presidency. Schumer validated people that Trump has traditionally spoken out against by saying that we are all equally devoted to our country, regardless of “our race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, whether we’re immigrant or native-born, whether we live with disabilities or not.” He remarked that our best days are still ahead of us and he urged the American people to seek strength and solace.
4. Donald Trump’s inaugural address
In his inaugural address, Donald Trump did not shy away from the discourse he engaged in during his rocky campaign. Trump spoke of a new, differently organized power shift in American government starting the day of his inauguration. “We are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people,” Trump said. “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. Every decision … will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” Trump continued to point out how important it is to protect the borders of our nation from those who want to come in and disrupt this ‘vision,’ and defended his statement by saying it’s every country’s right to put their own well-being before anything else.
5. Toddler rocking out to the national anthem.
Arguably the most important part of the inauguration activities was when the cameras picked up a toddler dancing sporadically in the audience along to Jackie Evancho’s rendition of the national anthem. While this is so far nowhere to be found, the reaction to this tiny dancer abounds.
Whether you’re counting down the days to the next inauguration or you’re relishing in the victory of our new President, if your eyes were on the inauguration today you have witnessed history in the making.