191,500 United States flags of various sizes, adorned the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as Joe Biden was sworn-in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday 20th January, 2021. They sat in place of the usual throngs of American people who virtually linked from the safety of their various closets. To say the sight was strikingly intriguing and different from every other inaugurations would be an understatement. Reason? The ravaging covid-19 pandemic.
The public art display, which covered the National was illuminated by 56 pillars of light and included flags for every U.S. state and territory. The Field of Flags reflected the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s “commitment to an inclusive and safe event that everyone can enjoy from their home.”
Biden’s inauguration came at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic raged across the country, hindering a gathering of people for the event.
The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 had surpassed 400,000 as at the time of the inauguration on Tuesday, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There were also heightened security concerns following the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol building. About 25,000 National Guard troops assisted to secure the presidential inauguration.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee had urged the public to refrain from any travel but to participate in the inaugural activities from home.
The footprint of the swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol will be “extremely limited,” with “vigorous health and safety protocols,” and the parade that follows will be mostly virtual, according to the committee.
Credit: abcnews.go.com, Huffinton Post