By Megan Cavanaugh
Gray clouds encompassed the Washington Mall outside the capitol building as crowds gathered, performers warmed up their vocal chords, military men and women in uniform seating the special guests attending, quiet moments hung in the air before the announcer’s voice began and erupting cheers bellowed from the crowds below, but outside the inauguration site protesters took to the streets, police restrained and protesters in other cities marched and chanted “Not my president” as many at home watched on television this inauguration; whether pleased by his victory or filled with despair many felt as if they couldn’t catch their breath.
After a historic win over Democratic nominee Hillary R. Clinton, Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence were sworn into the highest office in the land on Jan. 20, 2017.
While protesters lined streets in Washington D.C. and around the country, the ceremony commenced as planned.
The ceremony opened with prayers from Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez and Pastor Paula White-Cain.
“We Americans have always been a forward looking, problem solving, optimistic, patriotic and decent people,” Charles Schumer, a democratic senator and opening speaker said. “Whatever our race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, whether we are immigrant or native-born, whether we live with disabilities or do not, in wealth or in poverty, we are all exceptional in our commonly held yet fierce devotion to our country. And in our willingness to sacrifice our time, energy and even our lives to making it a more perfect union.”
Schumer then read the story of Major Sullivan Ballou who gave his life in 1861 for his country.
It is this devotion the president is to give to his country.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Oath of Office for Pence.
Chief Justice of the United States of America, John G. Roberts Jr. administered the Oath of Office for Trump.
In which he repeated his oath:
“I Donald John Trump do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”
He then took the podium for his first presidential speech and it began to rain.
He thanked the Obama family for acting graciously toward him and his family as the transition of power ensued.
“Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning,” he said. “Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.”
Trump vowed to give the power back to the people, a premise the founding fathers began the country upon.
Trump hopes to unite the country as one. He said loyalty to our country produces loyalty toward one another. Patriotism has no room for prejudice.
He ended his speech with his iconic campaign slogan: Together we will make America great again.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, Rev. Franklin Graham and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson gave scriptural readings and the benediction.
“In the Bible,” Graham said, “Rain is a sign of God’s blessing, and it started to rain, Mr. President, the moment you came to the platform. And it’s my prayer that God will bless you, your family, your administration and may He bless America.”
Jackson prayed the final blessing. He prayed that God would give Trump the wisdom of Solomon, the vision of Joseph and the meekness of Christ.
Now that the election and inauguration is all said and done, regardless of side or views, it is the duty of the citizens of the United States to stay united and not let the prejudice of differences get in the way of the common good of the country. To wish failure upon a man who is not the candidate one may have wanted is to wish failure upon us all. But instead, seeking the best for each common American, standing strong in one’s own faith as we continue in our daily lives. With prayers and petitions, as Graham’s benediction verse states, is the only way to protect a leader. This is our Christian duty.