President Donald Trump swears to serve and unify

President Donald Trump stands along side his family as he recites the Presidential Oath of Office. Courtesy of

During the Fifty-Eighth Presidential Inauguration, January 20, 2017, Mr. Donald J. Trump took the Presidential Oath of Office and officially became the forty-fifth president of the United States of America. Despite a divisive and controversial election, President Trump used his speech to emphasize the importance of unity and a government that serves its people.
Mr. Trump wrote his inaugural address with the help of his speech writer Mr. Stephen Miller. In the speech, Mr. Trump reiterated his belief in working together to “make America great again” and introduced the goals his administration hopes to achieve over the next four years. He assured that he will take action, put America first, and serve the United States’ citizens, according to

President Donald Trump stands along side his family as he recites the Presidential Oath of Office. Courtesy of
President Donald Trump stands alongside his family as he recites the Presidential Oath of Office. Courtesy of

“What truly matters is not what party controls our government but that this government is controlled by the peopleTogether we will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done,” Mr. Trump said, according to

Mr. Trump’s emphasis on cooperation and rehabilitation of partisan relationships spoke to many previous criticisms of Mr. Trump’s policy and leadership abilities. During his presidential campaign and the months following his victory, critics expressed fear of Mr. Trump’s ability to cooperate with both America’s current allies and the other members of his administration, according to The New York Times.

Political Commentator and Former Secretary of Labor Mr. Robert Reich criticized Mr. Trump’s behavior during an interview with CNN December 7, 2016. He discussed Mr. Trump’s controversial Twitter account and how as the President-elect, now President, of the United States, Mr. Trump has a responsibility to restrain himself on the platform, according to

“Let me just say with all due respect, Mr. Trump, you are president-elect of the United States. You are looking and acting as if you are mean and petty, thin-skinned and vindictive. Stop this,” Mr. Reich said, according to CNN
Many Democratic Senators and Congressmen boycotted the inauguration in protest against Mr. Trump. Congressman Mr. John Lewis spearheaded the campaign to boycott the inauguration by speaking out about the alleged foreign interference in the election, according to

“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don’t plan to attend the inauguration. It will be the first one that I miss since I’ve been in the Congress. You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right,” Mr. Lewis said, according to

Mr. Trump confronted this criticism by discussing his goal to work together to strengthen our country and by referencing the importance of bipartisanship and the tremendous potential he sees in America’s ability to unify in the next four years. Mr. Trump first introduced these ideas of collaboration in his election night victory speech.

The election night speech marked a turning point in Mr. Trump’s campaign, away from fighting against former Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton, and towards national unity, according to Further, he addressed those who have not previously supported him, asking them for guidance to “unify our great country,” according to

“While I will always put America’s interests first, I will deal fairly with everyone, […] [a]ll people and all other nations. I will seek common ground, not hostility, partnership, not conflict,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump reiterated these ideas in his inaugural address. He repeated that he will keep an “America first” mentality and that he will reconnect and heal domestic tension.

“When America is united, America is totally unstoppable,” Mr. Trump said, according to

After Mr. Trump completed his address, Miss Jackie Evancho, the primary soloist at the event, performed the National Anthem. Miss Evancho is a 16-year-old classical singer who grew in popularity after becoming the runner-up on America’s Got Talent in 2010.

Miss. Jackie Evancho performed the National Anthem as a part of the Swearing-in Ceremony. Courtesy of
Miss Jackie Evancho performed the National Anthem as a part of the Swearing-in Ceremony. Courtesy of

The entertainment for the Inauguration was a recent topic of debate as many performers declined invitations to participate in the event due to Mr. Trump’s controversial views, according to Ms. Jennifer Holiday, a Broadway actress who has performed in musicals such as Dream Girls, Chicago, and, most recently, The Color Purple, initially agreed to perform at the Lincoln Memorial event. After backlash from her fans, however, she withdrew her performance, according to CNN.

Miss Evancho addressed the controversy in an interview with

“It’s an honor to perform for my country and I don’t really do politics. So I don’t let that stand in between an honor to perform for the country,” Miss Evancho said, according to

Many Sacred Heart Greenwich students were able to form educated opinions on Mr. Trump’s policies in the weeks leading up to the election due to the Constitutional Law Honors class’ daily presentations on the positions of both candidates, which culminated in a mock election November 8, 2016. The months between November 8 and January 20 have allowed students to reflect upon the effects of the election and develop new hopes for the next four years.

“Despite differing views, it is important for leaders and citizens of a country to take part in the peaceful transition of power. That transition requires us students to educate ourselves on views from both sides of the argument. We should be watching the inauguration, even if we do not support President Trump’s views, to learn the goals he will be focusing on during his administration, and the tone with which he begins his presidency,” sophomore Lindsey Matthiesen said.

-Daisy Steinthal, Staff Writer