After almost two years of continuous campaigning during arguably one of the most atypical election cycles to date, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States today on the west front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Serving as the formal transfer of power between President Barack Obama and President-Elect Trump, the inauguration will prove to be historic as a man who has never before served in government takes to the nation’s highest public office. This inauguration will also mark the commencement of a unified government (in which the same party controls the White House and both houses of Congress) in almost a decade.
The schedules for Trump and outgoing President Barack Obama, though, include event obligations all throughout the historic day. The swearing-in ceremony begins with a performance by the United States Marine Band, followed by remarks from Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt. Religious leaders will hold an invocation, then the Missouri State University Chorale will perform. The main event will occur at noon, in which the President- and Vice President-Elect will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts, respectively. President Trump will then address the crowd with the first speech of his presidency. After the inaugural parade, Trump, Pence and their families attend three inaugural balls over the course of the night where Trump is expected to make remarks.
However, opulent balls and rock concerts aren’t the only events to attend this weekend. There are also a number of pro- and anti-Trump rallies scheduled around the ceremony, as the Department of Homeland Security expects as many as 99 groups to gather this weekend. According to the Women’s March on Washington, organizers reported they were expecting upwards of 200,000 people for their event alone on Saturday. In fact, not only are citizens taking a stand, but dozens of Democratic lawmakers are also protesting President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, particularly after revelations of Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and his criticism of civil rights icon John Lewis. While some senators have said they will be protesting in Washington and in their districts instead, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has alluded to the possibility of a boycott. The boycotts are “a reflection of the division in the country right now,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
In the wake of the grandiosity of the event, security will be a massive presence in the nation’s capital. The Department of Homeland Security estimated about 28,000 personnel from many different agencies would join in for the job. In addition to the usual range of threats, officials from federal, state and local agencies are preparing this year for what they say could be large-scale protests aimed at disrupting the ceremony and registering disapproval of Donald J. Trump’s presidency at the moment the world is watching his placement in office. A march planned for Saturday could attract as many as half a million people, one official said.
Along with the millions who will be watching Friday are Hills West students, who have joined forces with teachers to watch a monumental event unfold. “I will try to live-stream it during my architecture class seventh period and then re-watch it at home on YouTube,” added Andrew Martin. The library will be trying to live stream it during the day as well. While the politics of last year’s election still seem to be a polarizing matter, we as a nation will get to say hello to Mr. President himself today.