Joe Biden and Family Watch Fireworks Display Over the White House During Inauguration Special
The moment came about as Katy Perry performed her hit, "Firework," during the grand finale of the evening's Celebrating America television special
On Wednesday evening, Biden, 78, was joined by various members of his family to watch the captivating display of fireworks over the White House and the National Mall, where the group stood on the Truman Balcony, which overlooks the White House's South Lawn.
The exciting moment came about as Katy Perry performed her hit, "Firework," during the grand finale of the evening's Celebrating America television special, which honored the newly sworn-in Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Celebrating America showcased "the American people's resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together," organizers said of the primetime event, meant to replace the glitz and glamor of the usual inaugural festivities.
The special, which was hosted by Tom Hanks and aired on the major networks and online, also featured performances from A-list stars including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend and Demi Lovato, among others.
Earlier in the night, during the Celebrating America special, Biden addressed viewers watching at home in a speech given at the Lincoln Memorial.
"It is humbling to stand here in this place in front of these sacred words. Humbling out of respect to President Lincoln and the office we now share and humbling because of you, the American people," Biden began his impassioned speech. "As I said earlier today, we have learned again that democracy is precious and because of you, democracy has prevailed."
Biden went on to add that that he and the first lady, in addition to Harris, 56, and her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, "wanted to make sure out inauguration was not about us but about you, the American people."
"This is a great nation. We're good people and [to] overcome the challenges in front of us requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy — unity," Biden added. "It requires us to come together in common love that defines us as Americans."
Then, after listing challenges that the United States has faced — including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, an economic crisis, racial injustice, the climate crisis and threats to the country's democracy — Biden asked viewers watching if they were up to face these challenges.
"Will we meet the moment like our forebears have?" he asked. "I believe we must and I believe we will. You, the American people, are the reason why I have never been more optimistic about America than I am this very day."
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Biden's evening speech came hours after he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, with his large family watching beside him at the U.S. Capitol.
In an inaugural address blending hope and certainty in democracy — at the same place where just two weeks ago a mob of pro-Trump rioters invaded the U.S. Capitol in an attack that left five people dead in an attempt to stop the certification of Biden's election victory over former President Donald Trump — Biden declared: "This is America's day. This is democracy's day."
"This is a great nation," he said. "We are good people."
"Let's start afresh — all of us," Biden continued, repeatedly urging unity as he has since first launching his presidential campaign in 2019. "Stop the shouting and lower the temperature. Without unity, there is no peace. Only bitterness and fury."
He went on: "Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war."