Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday to witness Joe Biden be sworn into office as the 46th president of the United States.
Kamala Harris, a former U.S. senator for California, became the first woman to be vice president and the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government. She is also the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency.
Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT04) posted on Twitter, saying he's honored to attend the ceremony and "join the country in celebrating a peaceful transition of power that has served as a cornerstone of American democracy for over 200 years."
"God bless the soldiers, airmen, and law enforcement officials standing guard to ensure the safety of today's event," the congressman wrote. "Thank you for your service to our nation."
Former Rep. Ben McAdams was also in attendance.
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT02) was set to attend the ceremony, but had to pull out last minute due to COVID-19 exposure.
Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted Wednesday, saying Biden's inauguration comes at a difficult time and prays that Biden will unite "the nation at a time of division."
"Despite the difference Americans may have on matters of policy, we share the common goal of ensuring that America continues to be a beacon of hope and freedom for all," Romney wrote.
Rep. John Curtis said despite his differences with the president, "I have tremendous respect the Office."
"Although I may have philosophical differences with the President, I have tremendous respect for the Office. My attendance should stand as my commitment to wake up every morning and look in the mirror as I ask myself if I'm an agent for hate and darkness or for love & light," Curtis posted on Twitter.
Sen. Mike Lee met with Utah National Guard members before attending the ceremony.
"Incredibly proud of these Utahns and their continued sacrifice no matter the mission," he posted on Twitter.
He released a statement after Biden and Harris were sworn into office, saying:
“It was an honor to witness President Biden swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States today. We may not agree on everything, but I know we share common ground on some key issues like criminal justice reform and tax relief for working families. I hope we can turn these agreements into real bipartisan legislative success.”
Approximately 350 Utah National Guard members are at the inauguration to help with security, after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in a deadly siege on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
More than 26,000 national guard troops nationwide are expected to in Washington, D.C. for Biden's inauguration.
Several prominent figures in the Utah community released statements about the inauguration. Read them here:
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson: “America is ready for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Since their victory in early November, they each have demonstrated an inclusive, cooperative, and compassionate leadership that has been sorely vacant for the past four years. We can now begin to heal knowing once again the White House will be an ethical partner in our local efforts to build a community that values hard work, self-reliance, and teamwork. I appreciate President Biden’s plans to help local efforts in combating COVID-19. Better days are ahead, and I am confident that this new partnership will serve as a catalyst for Salt Lake County’s economic recovery, healthy residents, and a strong future.”
Former Sen. Orrin Hatch: "I wanted to send my sincere congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Having had the opportunity to serve with both of them in the Senate, I saw up close the love they have for our country and the American people. I am confident that the President will serve our nation now just as he has served it over more many decades in elected office—with drive, dedication, and a heart full of optimism. His success will be America’s success, which is why I wish him the very best."
Gov. Spencer Cox: "Today we celebrate a cherished cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power. Over the past four years, President Trump listened to Utah and we thank him for his service. As President Biden takes office, we look forward to working with him in advancing the vital interests of Utahns."
Gov. Gary Herbert: "Congratulations to Joseph R. Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States. His desire to unite the nation is a goal that we can all share. Unity will only be possible as we show mutual respect for each other as Americans in spite of our differences and by treating each other with civility. With this new beginning, we should all do our part to accomplish the goal of truly being the United States of America."
Speaker Brad Wilson: "The peaceful transfer of power that occurs each Inauguration Day is an enduring testament to our national ideal of a government of the people, by the people, for the people. I joiin all Americans in wishing President Biden and Vice President Harris success in fulfilling the solemn oath they took today."