Thousands of people including many Indian-Americans are converging here to attend US President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony themed ‘Make America Great Again’. Trump will be sworn-in as the 45th US President on January 20 using two Bibles: the one that former President Abraham Lincoln used at his first inauguration, plus his own that dates back to the President-elect’s childhood.
Trump’s Bible was presented to him by his mother upon his graduation of Sunday Church Primary School at First Presbyterian Church, Jamaica, New York, on Children’s Day on June 12, 1955. The celebrations around Trump’s inauguration beginning tomorrow has been organised around the theme ‘Make America Great Again’ which not only caught the imagination of the Americans during the grilling election campaign, but also propelled Trump to victory.
An unprecedented security has been put in place to thwart any untoward incident. Outgoing US President Barack Obama yesterday reviewed the preparedness.
“We are going to see a just unbelievable tremendous outpouring of support for him,” the incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters during a conference call yesterday. “The president(-elect) has been just overwhelmed by the amount of support and outpouring of people that want to participate in some way with this ‘historic inauguration’,” Spicer said in response to a question.
While Trump supporters in Washington DC have already started a series of events ahead of the Friday inauguration, official events would kick off tomorrow with the wreath-laying ceremony by Trump and the vice president-elect Mike Pence at the Arlington National Cemetery. The historic National Mall would also be the venue of celebrations.
On the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial, scores of artists from across the country would perform before thousands of supporters of Trump.
Voices of the People will feature groups from the hundreds of applications received by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to take part in inaugural festivities. Prominent among those participating are King’s Academy Honor Choir, the Republican Hindu Coalition, Pride of Madawaska, Webelos Troop 177, American Tap and Celtic United Pipes and Drums. ‘The Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration’ will take place following Voices of the People and will be broadcast live to the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
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It will feature historic remarks from Trump and special appearances from Toby Keith, Jon Voight, Jennifer Holliday, The Piano Guys, Lee Greenwood, RaviDrums, 3 Doors Down, and The Frontmen of Country (featuring Tim Rushlow, former lead singer of “Little Texas”, Larry Stewart of “Restless Heart” and Richie McDonald of “Lonestar”).
The celebration will also feature the participation of military bands and a fireworks show by Grucci at the conclusion.
“This celebration will combine a diverse group of performers and is the official kick-off to the inaugural events. The concert will include an appearance by the President-elect Trump,” a media release said.
Trump and Pence will be sworn in to office on the west front of the United States Capitol. Joining them will be their families, members of Congress, the US Supreme Court, Diplomatic Corps and other distinguished invited guests.
A diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in. Those offering readings and giving the invocation at the ceremony are Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, Reverend Dr Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Pastor Paula White of New Destiny Christian Centre.
Additionally, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Reverend Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse and The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Bishop Wayne T Jackson of Great Faith Ministries International will offer readings and give the benediction. After the inauguration, Trump and the First Lady would drive down including some walk to the White House.
Before entering the White House later in the afternoon they would watch a parade. “The parade is a favourite tradition for families and supporters from all over the country to see our nation’s new President, Vice President and their families make their way down Pennsylvania Avenue followed by parade participants,” a media release said.
There will be more than 8,000 parade participants representing 40 organisations including high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, first responders, and veterans groups.
Later in the evening, the new President and the First Lady would celebrate the inaugural ceremony by attending an official inaugural ball. On January 21, the National Prayer Service will be held at Washington National Cathedral and will include representatives of all religious faiths for a time of prayer and fellowship. ‘Liberty and Freedom: The Official Presidential Inaugural Balls’ will also feature special appearances from Sam Moore, Tim Rushlow and his Big Band, Silhouettes, The Rockettes, Pelican212, The Piano Guys, Circus 1903, Cache Olson, Lexi Walker and Erin Boheme.
‘The Salute to Our Armed Services Ball’ will feature special performances from Tony Orlando and Josh Weathers.
Since 1809, the inaugural balls have been an opportunity for Americans from every corner of the country to visit Washington DC to honour the newly sworn-in President and Vice President.