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The Latest On Inauguration Day Events

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

America has a new president.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN ROBERTS: So help you God.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: So help me God.

ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

(APPLAUSE)

SHAPIRO: At noon Eastern Time, Joe Biden became the oldest president ever to hold the office after 81 million Americans voted for him last November, the most of any candidate in history.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In some ways, it was a traditional inauguration. In others, it was totally unlike any we have ever seen. Normally, the lawns of the Capitol and the National Mall would be swarmed with people. Instead, Biden delivered his inaugural address to a Mall filled with hundreds of thousands of flags and a reflecting pool lined with 400 lights, each representing a thousand Americans who have died of COVID-19.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BIDEN: And my first act as president, I'd like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer. Remember all those who we lost this past year to the pandemic, those 400,000 fellow Americans - moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors and co-workers. We'll honor them by becoming the people and the nation we know we can and should be. So I ask you, let's say a silent prayer for those who've lost their lives and those left behind and for our country. Amen.

SHAPIRO: The new president spoke from the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol, the exact spot where, two weeks ago, thousands of violent rioters swarmed, hoping to overturn his election, damaging and defacing the building and stage, killing a police officer and leaving four of the extremists dead.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BIDEN: And here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen - not today, not tomorrow, not ever - not ever.

(APPLAUSE)

SHAPIRO: Four years ago, former President Trump decried American carnage in his inaugural address. Today, President Biden spoke of unity and healing. He asked Americans to pull together to get through what he called a time of testing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BIDEN: We face an attack on our democracy and untruth - a raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America's role in the world - any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways, but the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we've had. Now we're going to be tested. Are we going to step up - all of us? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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