President-elect Joe Biden kicked off inaugural events on the eve of his swearing-in with a memorial ceremony honoring COVID-19 victims.
The National Moment of Unity and Remembrance, as the event was dubbed on the Biden Inaugural site, took place on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The moment occured at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC on the evening of Biden’s relocation from his home in Delaware to the nation’s capital.
It included “the first-ever lighting of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool” to honor victims who have lost their lives to the novel coronavirus.
“The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is hosting a memorial to remember and honor the lives lost to COVID-19. On January 19 at 5:30pm (local time), we invite Americans across the country to come together for a national moment of unity and remembrance,” the Biden Inaugural site explains.
Both Biden and Vice President-elect Harris delivered remarks at the event.
Organizers invited people to participate remotely in a few different ways:
—Light a candle in your window and join fellow Americans for this national moment of remembrance.
—Light up city buildings at 5:30 local time in a light amber color.
—Ring a bell at 5:30pm ET on January 19 during the national ceremony to join us in a collective moment of remembrance.
On Wednesday, Biden and Harris will officially be inaugurated.
Much of the ceremony will be virtual, with Lady Gaga kicking things off with a performance of the national anthem at around 11:30am ET. Biden and Kamala Harris are expected to take the oath of office around 12pm ET, led by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.
Harris will be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a historic female first, followed by an inaugural address from Biden.
On Wednesday night at 8:30pm ET, a special titled "Celebrating America," hosted by Tom Hanks, will air, featuring performances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, and John Legend.