WASHINGTON -- Donald John Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, ushering in a new era in which he vowed to restore American greatness.
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President and first lady Donald and Melania Trump walk along Pennsylvania Avenue during Friday’s inaugural parade in Washington.
From the West Front of the Capitol as rain began to fall, Trump presented a vision of a nation afflicted by division and dislocation, exploited and forgotten by Washington elites and diminished around the world. His arrival, he promised, would finally turn it around.
"This American carnage stops right here and stops right now," he declared in his 16-minute inaugural address.
"The time for empty talk is over," he added later. "Now arrives the hour for action. Do not allow anyone to tell you it cannot be done."
He said the inauguration represented not just the peaceful transfer of power from one party to another. "We are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you the people," he said.
"For too long," he added, "a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. 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."
He vowed to reverse that trend and make America first. "The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."
"This is your day," he said, reading from teleprompters. "This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country."
Michael Richard Pence was sworn in first as vice president by Justice Clarence Thomas. Pence, 57, a former governor and congressman from Indiana, placed his hand on Ronald Reagan's Bible as his wife, Karen, and three adult children, Michael, Charlotte and Audrey, looked on.
For his own oath, Trump placed his hand on two Bibles, one given to him by his mother in 1955, just before his ninth birthday, and the other used by Abraham Lincoln when he was inaugurated in 1861 and again by President Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013.
Standing nearby was his wife, Melania Trump, and the new president's grown children from two previous marriages, Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Tiffany. Also on hand was Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner, who will serve as a senior adviser in the White House. Trump's son, Barron, 10, also attended the swearing-in but was not at the morning events; he will remain in New York with his mother until the end of the school year.
Trump wore a navy suit and red tie for his inauguration; Melania Trump wore a powder-blue suit.
With the completion of the oath, the Marine Band played "Ruffles and Flourishes" four times and then "Hail to the Chief," followed by a 21-gun salute.
After Trump's inaugural address, there were benedictions from Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; the Rev. Franklin Graham, reprising a role his father, the Rev. Billy Graham, often played; and Bishop Wayne Jackson, who runs Great Faith Ministries International and Impact Network.
In addition to Obama, former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush attended the inaugural ceremony earlier in the day, though all four opposed Trump's election. The elder President George Bush remained hospitalized in Houston, where he was recovering from pneumonia. More than four dozen House Democrats announced they would boycott the event in protest.
Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old who earned fame as the runner-up on the television show America's Got Talent in 2010, sang the national anthem.
Other artists declined to participate, including Jennifer Holliday, who canceled her appearance at a pre-inaugural concert just days before the event after a backlash from gay and lesbian fans. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed, despite an online petition signed by 36,000 people and the resignation of one of its members. So did the choir from the Washington National Cathedral, over the objections of the cathedral's most recent dean.
Trump had predicted a record-setting turnout for the inauguration, but indicators point to a much more modest gathering.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates the subway system, said in a tweet that 193,000 passengers had taken the Metro as of 11 a.m., far fewer than the 513,000 who'd ridden by the same hour in 2009 for Obama's inauguration. The ridership ahead of President George W. Bush's second inauguration in 2005 was 197,000.
As Trump prepared to take the oath, the thousands who'd flocked to the National Mall extended less than half the distance to the Washington Monument. Attendees reported short lines at several security gates. Morning commuters to Washington talked of nearly empty cars on the D.C. subway.
The National Park Service said there would be no official crowd estimate for Trump's inauguration. Obama's first inauguration, in 2009, is widely believed to have set the record for most well-attended, at an estimated 1.8 million people. President Bill Clinton attracted an estimated 800,000 people to his first inauguration. Bush attracted about 300,000 to his second inauguration, in 2005.
At age 70, Trump is the oldest president ever sworn in for the first time and the first born in New York since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Never before has the presidential oath been administered to someone who had never served either in public office or as a general in the military.
Although Trump has named nominees for every Cabinet post, the Senate confirmation process has slowed and few sub-Cabinet officials have been announced. Trump has asked more than 50 officials from Obama's administration, particularly in security agencies, to stay temporarily to ensure the continuity of government.
For the nation's 58th inauguration, Trump opted largely to follow tradition. He and Melania Trump started the day at a service at St. John's Episcopal Church across Lafayette Square from the White House, then took the short trip to the Executive Mansion for coffee with Obama and his wife, Michelle. From there, the two presidents shared a limousine for the short motorcade to the Capitol.
As other presidents have before him, Trump shared a lunch of lobster, beef and chocolate souffle with lawmakers in Statuary Hall of the Capitol before traveling back down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, to watch the inaugural parade from the bandstands erected for the occasion.
In the evening at the Washington Convention Center, the Trumps shared their first dance well after 9 p.m. at the Liberty Ball as Frank Sinatra's "My Way" played. Pence and his wife, as well as the couples' children, joined them on the stage.
Trump said his first day as commander in chief was great. "People that weren't so nice to me were saying that we did a really good job today," he said, adding, "It's like God was looking down on us."
Minutes later, they all repeated the ritual at the Freedom Ball, concluding with Trump leading the crowd in a chant of "USA!"
At the ball, when he asked whether he should "keep the Twitter going," the crowd roared in apparent approval. Trump said his all-hours tweeting to his more than 20 million followers is "a way of bypassing dishonest media."
The final gala of the evening, the Salute To Our Armed Services Ball, took place at the National Building Museum, where the Trumps took taking part in a traditional dance and cake-cutting with members of the military. The traditional cutting of the cake with a saber honors the sacrifice and service of military members..
obamas head out
After eight years in power, Obama made his exit, heading after the ceremony by helicopter from the Capitol to Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland, where he addressed a crowd of former aides and allies.
He and Michelle Obama then boarded the presidential jet, no longer designated as Air Force One, for a flight to Palm Springs, Calif., for a vacation before returning to Washington.
The president left a letter for Trump in the desk of the Oval Office, as is tradition for the outgoing chief executive, Obama spokesman Eric Schultz said. He declined to provide a copy of the letter.
The Obamas have rented a house not far from the White House to allow their youngest daughter, Sasha, to finish high school, making Barack Obama the first president to stay in Washington after leaving office since Woodrow Wilson.
Just hours before his departure, Obama took to Twitter, expressing his gratitude to his 13.6 million followers and hinting that he did not intend to fade quietly away. He asked for their thoughts and vowed to continue to be politically active.
"I won't stop; I'll be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by your voices of truth and justice, good humor, and love," Obama said.
For their part, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, headed by train to Delaware, which he represented in the Senate for 36 years. But they too plan to return part time to the Washington area, where Jill Biden teaches at a community college in the Virginia suburbs.
Information for this article was contributed by Peter Baker and Michael D. Shear of The New York Times, by Franco Ordonez of Tribune News Service.
A Section on 01/21/2017
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