"...I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear...”
Donald Trump took the oath of office Friday to become the 45th president of the United States. He vowed to transfer power from Washington, D.C. to “the American people.”
Outgoing President Barack Obama stood nearby as the Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., administered the oath of office to Trump.
At his side for the ceremony was his wife Melania and his five children. Mike Pence had been sworn in as Vice-President moments before.
It is the scene that has been repeated every four years since 1789.
Patriotic music was played. And canons were fired.
The Capitol building was decorated with flags. Hundreds of thousands of people came to the Capitol grounds to see the new president sworn in. They wore red white and blue clothing with Trump’s name on it. Some wrapped themselves in flags. Many cheered the man they had elected to the office.
In his inaugural address, President Trump continued with the populist theme that brought him to victory after a bitter campaign.
“To all Americans in every city near and far, small and large from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again."
A light rain fell as Trump spoke. He said this will be the day the people will become the rulers. His words targeted many of the very people who surrounded him at the Capitol—Washington’s top political leaders.
“The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you.”
The new president spoke of putting America ahead of all other nations.
“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”
He said there will be two simple rules to follow: “Buy American and hire American.”
“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”
The new U.S. president also said his administration “will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world.” He also said his administration will attack “radical Islamic terrorism” saying he will “eradicate (it) completely from the face of the Earth.”
Former presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush were there, as was Bill Clinton. His wife, Hillary Clinton sat with him. She was Trump’s opponent in the election where many angry words were said. Ninety-two-year-old former President George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, was unable to attend because he is sick.
Many House Democrats refused to attend the ceremony.
Trump takes leadership of a nation divided over his election. He is a billionaire businessman with no experience in government. At 70, he is the oldest person to be sworn in as president.
He comes into office with 40 percent approval rating in national polls, the lowest for any new president in decades. Trump won the Electoral College vote. But he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million votes.
The day was filled with rich American tradition. It began with Trump and his family attending a service at St. John’s Church across the street from the White House.
Then Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden greeted their successors at the White House, where they had tea with their spouses.
It was reported that Obama left a private letter for his successor, just like George W. Bush had done for him.
Then, together, the out-going and in-coming presidents rode in the same vehicle up to Capitol Hill for the ceremony.
After the swearing-in, Trump said goodbye to the Obamas as they boarded a helicopter to begin a trip to California.
President Donald Trump headed back into the Capitol to sign his first official papers as president, including nominating members of his cabinet.
Then it was time to sit down for a traditional lunch with Congressional leaders at Statuary Hall in the Capitol.
During the ride to the White House, the president and his family stepped out to briefly greet the crowd, gathered for the inaugural parade.
The long day was expected to close with the president and his wife attending two inaugural parties.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
And I’m Anne Ball.
Anne Ball wrote this story for Learning English with material from Reuters. Hai Do was the editor. We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section and visit us on our Facebook page.
Words in This Story
vow - v. to promise to do something or to behave in a certain way
transfer - v. to move (someone or something) from one place to another
oath - n. a formal and serious promise to tell the truth or to do something
populist - adj. of or relating to a political party that claims to represent ordinary people
bitter - adj. causing painful emotions
ravage - v. to damage or harm very badly
eradicate - v. to remove completely or destroy
decade - n. a period of 10 years
Electoral College - n. a group of people chosen from each U.S. state who meet to elect the President and Vice President of the U.S. based on the votes of all the people in each state
cabinet - n. a group of people who give advice to a leader