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Changes being made for the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Posted at 7:54 AM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 10:56:06-05

WASHINGTON — The nation’s capitol is preparing for an inauguration unlike any other.

"I think there’s a lot of security concerns right now for January 20, so I would imagine there is going to be changes because I think the people who are organizing the inauguration realize that there is a real security risk," said 23ABC political analyst Allen Bolar.

Bolar said it’s hard to ignore the tensions surrounding President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. A ceremony usually filled with crowded celebrations turned into a heavily guarded event.

ABC News reports there are 25,000 National Guard members stationed in Washington D.C. and a seven foot fence is wrapped around the capitol grounds.

Earlier this month, President Trump tweeted he won’t be in attendance. Something political analyst Ivy Cargile said is for the best.

"Especially given what happened a week and a half ago, it would’ve made the event even more tense than it already is," said Cargile.

Bolar said the recent riots at the capitol aren’t the only thing impacting this inauguration.

"Whether or not there had [been] political tension, COVID is there," he said.

With the pandemic still ongoing, safety precautions are in place. The Joint Congressional Committee On Inaugural Ceremonies said they usually distribute 200,000 tickets. This year, only members of Congress and one guest of their choice can attend.

"The reality is that, you know, we really are in a different world in 2021," said Cargile.

After Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in, there will be a Pass In Review with military members. A wreath laying in the Arlington National Cemetery will then be followed by an escort to the White House.

The inaugural committee said they will enforce social distancing and “vigorous health and safety protocols.”

A virtual parade will be televised, featuring performers from across the country.

So how will the 59th inauguration go down in history? Bolar said only time will tell.

“On the one hand, there’s a potential that people will look at it as an unusual event that happened during an unusual time," he said. "It’s possible though that [what] happened [at] the Capitol building, and the threats that are happening right now towards the inauguration, if those turn out to be real, this could be a harbinger kind of moment in American history that is dark.”

Virtual watch parties can be held through bideninaugural.org.

A primetime special called “Celebrating America” will be hosted by Tom Hanks with speakers and performers like Lin Manuel Miranda and Foo Fighters. That will air on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. PST - a moment of positivity as the nation welcomes its new administration.

"I’m hoping that, given the confines and everything, the different challenges that have been posed to this incoming administration, I'm really hoping this incoming administration’s inauguration goes well," said Cargile. "We need something to go well.”