Joe Biden Is Joined by Former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton for Wreath-Laying Ceremony
Notably absent was Donald Trump, who previously tweeted that he would not be attending Joe Biden's inauguration
President Joe Biden was in esteemed company as he attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Wednesday, hours after his inauguration in Washington, D.C.
The 46th president of the United States, 78, was not only accompanied by his history-making Vice President Kamala Harris, but also by former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton for the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
During the wreath-laying ceremony, Biden was photographed touching the wreath, which was adorned with red, white and blue flowers as well as a matching ribbon, at the iconic memorial location. Biden then made the sign of the cross and gave a somber salute before a bugle player performed "Taps."
Noticeably absent from both the wreath-laying ceremony and inauguration was Biden's predecessor Donald Trump, who tweeted earlier this month that he would not be attending the swearing-in of Biden and Harris, 56. Trump's tweet came two days after he incited an attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (Vice President Mike Pence did, however, attend the ceremony.)
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On Jan. 5, a representative for Bush, 74, said the 43rd president and Mrs. Bush would attend Wednesday's swearing-in ceremony. "President and Mrs. Bush look forward to returning to the Capitol for the swearing-in of President Biden and Vice President Harris," chief of staff Freddy Ford wrote on Twitter that week.
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Meanwhile, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife of nearly 75 years, Rosalynn, sent their well-wishes from afar, and did not attend the inauguration ceremony, officially missing his first inauguration in 44 years.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, a spokesperson for the Carter Center said Carter, 96, and his wife, 93, would "not travel to Washington for the inauguration but have sent their best wishes to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect [Kamala] Harris and look forward to a successful administration."