Professors talking about unprecedented inauguration ceremony

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University professors will be watching the Biden-Harris inauguration closely. High Point University associate professor Dr. Paul Ringel explains why.

“I think it’s going to be something unprecedented with the military presence and the small number of people at the inauguration and the social distancing and mask-wearing,” said Dr. Ringel. “It will be very different than anything we have seen before.”

Washington, DC, is now a fortified city with over 20,000 National Guardsmen. While this is a very unusual sight, Dr. Ringel said there has been a large military presence in Washington, DC, before. But the soldiers were in the city to celebrate, not protect the inauguration.

“The Union was running off of a string of victories, so you had 50,000 people at Lincoln’s (second) inauguration,” said Dr. Ringel. “You have a parade of Black soldiers marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s going to be very different from what we see tomorrow certainly.”

You won’t see any large cheering crowds during the Biden-Harris inauguration. Those in attendance will be masked and socially distant. Still, Elon University associate political science professor Dr. Carrie Eaves said we shouldn’t forget the importance of the inauguration.

“We are still having this transfer of power. It’s a marker, it’s something we only see every four years,” said Dr. Eaves. “It’s still an important moment we should take note of, tune in, and pay attention tomorrow.”

Watching the inauguration will look different, but if you pay attention, at times it will look like the others.

“I tried to look for the schedule and for security reasons they are not telling us everything that is going to happen tomorrow,” said Dr. Eaves. “But we will still see the swearing-in with the chief justice, and a speech. There will be some elements that will feel familiar,” added Dr. Eaves.

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