President Joe Biden vowed to be the president who can bring America together amid the current environment of strife and division in his inaugural address Wednesday.
Biden did not mention former President Donald Trump by name throughout the speech, instead focusing on his faith that divisions between Americans can be healed. Biden also called on Americans to turn their full attention toward combating the coronavirus.
“For those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart,” Biden said.
“If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our Republic is perhaps this nation’s greatest strength,” Biden added. “Hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you: I will be a president for all Americans, and I promise you I will fight as hard for those who didn’t support me as those who did.”
Roughly 25,000 National Guard troops were stationed in Washington, D.C., ahead of the inauguration, and the downtown area has been extensively closed off with fencing.
Trump departed the White House for the final time as president Wednesday morning. Democrats and Republicans in the House voted to impeach Trump on one charge of “incitement of insurrection” Jan. 13 for his role in encouraging the mob of rioters.
Trump chose to skip Biden’s inauguration in favor of a military send-off at Andrews Air Force Base on Wednesday morning. Now-former Vice President Mike Pence, whose relationship with Trump has fractured since the Capitol riots, skipped Trump’s sendoff in favor of Biden’s inauguration.
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton were all in attendance at the inauguration.