If former Vice President Joe Biden does assume the presidency on Jan. 20 after the disputed November election, the traditional pomp and circumstance of a typical inauguration parade will be replaced by something a good deal smaller.
According to Fox News, the Biden Presidential Inaugural Committee on Sunday announced that “instead of the in-person parade, Biden will receive a traditional presidential escort with representatives from every branch of the military from 15th Street in Washington to the White House.”
The news was originally broken in a Twitter post Saturday by Washington Jon Nicosia, who said he saw the information in an email he obtained from the Army.
Nicosia, a veteran journalist who has worked as a managing editor for the liberal website Mediaite and in the same post at the conservative Independent Journal Review, is also a former breaking news editor of the conservative Washington Examiner. On Saturday, he tweeted, “Scoop: The @JoeBiden inaugural parade has been cancelled.”
In an article published Sunday, Breitbart News quoted from the email it said Nicosia obtained.
“The Inaugural Parade has been canceled,” the email said, according to Breitbart.
“The Active, National Guard, Reserve, and Academy marching requirements have been deleted and are no longer needed.”
Scoop: The @JoeBiden inaugural parade has been cancelled.
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) January 3, 2021
According to the inauguration committee news release, the Jan. 20 ceremony will include the traditional review of military units known as the “Pass in Review,” the military escort to the White House and a “virtual parade across America.”
The news is the latest development in a series of indications that any inauguration involving Biden or his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, will be a scaled-back affair.
In a mid-December statement urging the public not to come to Washington, the Presidential Inaugural Committee, a group appointed by the Biden campaign, said, “The ceremony’s footprint will be extremely limited, and the parade that follows will be reimagined.”
On Tuesday, it was announced by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies that it was canceling the inaugural lunch after talking to Biden’s inaugural planners, according to Bloomberg.
The same day, the reviewing stand for the parade in front of the White House was dismantled, USA Today reported.
“The health and safety of all guests attending the ceremonies has remained a top priority throughout the planning process,” said a spokeswoman for the joint congressional committee, according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg noted that the luncheon serves a traditional function many Americans outside of Washington might not appreciate.
“While not as widely watched as the president’s inaugural address, the luncheon serves as an important symbol of bipartisanship during the transfer of power,” Bloomberg noted.
The lunch allows for a social occasion involving congressional leaders and a new president. There is, of course, great food served. Barack Obama had a Lincoln-themed menu and President Donald Trump requested seafood.
In a separate development, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced last week that there will be a memorial for those who lost their lives to the coronavirus, according to CNN.
It will take place on Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and involve a lighting ceremony at Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
According to CNN, the committee is encouraging everyone across the country to participate by “Illuminating buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 p.m. ET in a national moment of unity and remembrance.”
In a statement Thursday, Pill Tobar, the communications director for the committee, said the ceremony was intended to send a message.
“However, in the midst of a pandemic — when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors — it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation.”
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