With the arrival of 2017 in full effect, the new year has already brought with it many changes. One of the biggest turn of events that has recently transpired in America was the inauguration of the 45th president, Donald Trump. The induction ceremony took place on Jan. 20 and contained many noteworthy, and at times, rather controversial occurrences.
As the United States prepared to witness the inauguration of its new figurehead, many prominent faces hailing from the political landscape attended the event. As Barack and Michelle Obama greeted Trump outside of the Capitol Building, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders could be seen preparing to take their seats.
Trump decided to be sworn into office on two Bibles. One was a personal copy given to him by his mother and the other was the Bible that Abraham Lincoln used during his inauguration.
Vice President Mike Pence chose to be sworn in using Ronald Reagan’s personal copy of the Bible. Pence has made statements regarding his admiration of the 40th president, seeing it fit that he paid homage to this man in the best way that he could.
After Trump swore into his presidency, he reached out to all citizens, regardless of their race, by stating that “we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.”
The president’s speech appealed to the country’s sense of nationalism by emphasizing that “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.”
Hailing from the Pittsburgh area, singer Jackie Evancho sang the national anthem at the inauguration and the Franklin Regional Marching Band from Murrysville, Pa. marched in the parade. Additionally, the Rockettes performed at the inaugural ball, and various musicians including 3 Doors Down and Toby Keith performed at a concert the day before the inauguration.
Despite what was said during Trump’s address, not everyone was happy with what was transpiring in the nation’s capital.
During and after Trump’s inauguration, U.S. citizens flocked the streets of Washington D.C. to protest the event. Because numerous statements made by the 45th president were viewed by some as sexist, racist and homophobic, this resulted in the “Women’s March.” The congregation swept through the streets of not only Washington, but numerous cities across America, Europe and Asia. Protesters spoke out against America’s new president to ensure that the rights of U.S. citizens and immigrants may be preserved.
Among the crowd of Americans were members of Anti-Flag, a political punk band from Pittsburgh, looking to show their support during such a controversial time. The guitarist and singer, Justin Sane, has made well-known of the band’s strong disapproval of Trump’s victory. When questioned about the new presidential cabinet in an interview, Sane went on to say that, “A lot of the people he’s bringing in are diametrically opposed to workers’ rights, and of course that’s a disaster for poor and working people.” He continues by stating, “There are a lot of people thinking he was going to be on their side, and I definitely understand that. He very effectively campaigned that way. But unfortunately, I think he’s a con man, and they got taken.”
With about two weeks of presidency under his belt, Trump has already signed numerous executive orders in his attempts to revitalize the nation. He has given two orders that will reinstitute not only the Keystone XL pipeline, but the Dakota Access pipelines as well. Planning to reduce federal spending within the next decade, the president has proposed budget cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). His most recent executive order has imposed a suspension of the national refugee program, as well as any travel coming from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.
Although 2017 has begun with numerous controversial events, the rest of the year has yet to come. The following months will hold potential for great change, and the direction in which it goes lies solely on each and every citizen of the United States.