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Biden inauguration to include presidential escort, virtual parade

By Lalit K Jha
January 04, 2021 12:40 IST
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President-elect Joe Biden's low-key inauguration on January 20 will include a Pass in Review on the East Front, a presidential escort to the White House, and a virtual parade across America following his official swearing in at the United States Capitol, the Presidential Inaugural Committee has announced.


After the official swearing-in ceremony on the West front of the US Capitol, the President-elect, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will participate in a Pass in Review on the East front with members of the military.

Pass in Reviews are a long-standing military tradition that reflect the peaceful transfer of power to a new Commander-in-Chief, during which the President-elect, hosted by the Commander of Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, will review the readiness of military troops.

Every branch of the military will be represented in this event.

Participants will be socially distanced and the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC), a nonprofit tasked with planning the inauguration, will have vigorous COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place.

"This is an exciting opportunity to work with Americans across the country to showcase President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris' steadfast commitment to a diverse, inclusive, and unified nation.

"There are many grand traditions to the inaugural, and we plan to honor them by highlighting more of our nation's people than ever before while keeping everyone safe," PIC CEO Tony Allen said on Sunday.

Thereafter, the President-elect will receive a Presidential Escort from 15th Street to the White House, providing the American people and world with historic images of the President-elect proceeding to the White House without attracting large crowds and gatherings.

Every branch of the military will be represented in the escort, including The US Army Band, a Joint Service Honor Guard, and the Commander-in-Chief's Guard and Fife and Drum Corps from the 3rd US Infantry 'The Old Guard'.

Participants will be socially distanced and PIC will have vigorous health and safety protocols in place.

In light of the pandemic, the PIC will produce a virtual parade across America that will be televised for the American people and feature diverse, dynamic performances in communities across the country, the announcement said.

The parade will celebrate America's heroes, highlight Americans from all walks of life in different states and regions, and reflect on the diversity, heritage, and resilience of the country as the country begins a new American era, it said, adding that the PIC will announce participants in the coming weeks.

This programming will honor long-standing inaugural traditions; provide the American people with the iconic images of a new president, a new vice president, and their families making their way to the White House; and feature musical acts, local bands, poets, dance troupes, and more paying homage to America's heroes on the frontlines of the pandemic, it said.

"We are excited about the possibilities and opportunities this moment presents to allow all Americans to participate in our country's sacred inaugural traditions.

"This innovative programming will keep people safe and use new ways to bring in Americans across the country -- from rural towns and urban cities to younger and older Americans to everybody and everywhere in between," said PIC Executive Director Maju Varghese.

"This is an ambitious goal but we are committed to an inclusive and accessible celebration that brings Americans together and unifies our nation, especially during such a tough time for our country," he said.

Last month, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) had said Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' inaugurations will be a low-key affair restricted for the public, urging people to participate in the historic event from home in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

It said that invitations to members of the 117th Congress will be limited to themselves and one guest.

The PIC urged the public to refrain from any travel and participate in the inaugural activities from home.

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Lalit K Jha
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