Biden, three former presidents lay a wreath at Arlington Cemetery after inauguration

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol January 20, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol January 20, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. Photo credit Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
By Connecting Vets

Following his inauguration as the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, accompanied by three former presidents, laid a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris laid the wreath together following inaugural events and the swearing-in ceremony, making it one of Biden's first acts as commander in chief, before he stepped foot in the White House on Jan. 20. Biden was joined by former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. They laid the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, "honoring our men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our common values," according to an announcement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee on Jan. 11.

U.S. President Joe Biden (C), Vice President Kamala Harris, and Major General Omar J. Jones salute at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery on January 20, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States.
U.S. President Joe Biden (C), Vice President Kamala Harris, and Major General Omar J. Jones salute at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery on January 20, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States. Photo credit Photo by Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Also in attendance were Jill Biden, Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.

Biden and Harris stood before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with its inscription, "an American soldier, known but to God" as the Army band played the national anthem. He saluted while she held her hand over her heart. The two then prayed before the wreath, and then a bugler played taps before another moment of silence, according to White House pool reports.

The Bidens are Blue Star parents after losing one of their sons, Army veteran Beau Biden, to brain cancer at 46. The president has said he believes his son's cancer may have been linked to his exposure to burn pits while deployed. Beau Biden is not buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but in Greenville, Delaware.

President Donald Trump said last week he would not attend the inauguration and he was not included on the committee's list of attendees for the wreath-laying ceremony.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, as former U.S. President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton look on, January 20, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, as former U.S. President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton look on, January 20, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. Photo credit Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Biden's inauguration was a scaled-back event because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In place of large crowds for the inauguration, the National Mall was filled with American flags -- nearly 200,000 in varying sizes. The "Field of Flags ... will represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, D.C."

Reach Abbie Bennett: abbie@connectingvets.com or @AbbieRBennett. Sign up for the Connecting Vets weekly newsletter to get more stories like this delivered to your inbox.