Americans are said to love a parade, but COVID-19 has conspired to scrap another of this country’s traditions.
President-elect Joe Biden will not be part of the traditional inaugural parade from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, underscoring the importance of public safety, and will instead participate in a short walk to the White House.
According to his inaugural committee, President Biden, along with First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, will be accompanied by a military escort from 15th Street to the White House after the swearing-in ceremony on the West Front of the Capitol.
It’s another major event that has been forced to be adaptable, with the scheduled festivities to include a review of troops and a “Virtual Parade Across America” featuring assorted entertainment catering directly to the stay-at-home crowd.
“This is an exciting opportunity to work with Americans across the country to showcase President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris’ steadfast commitment to a diverse, inclusive and unified nation,” said Tony Allen, the inaugural committee’s CEO.
“… There are many grand traditions to the inaugural, and we plan to honor them by highlighting more of our nation’s people than ever before while keeping everyone safe.”
The escort will include representatives of every branch of the military, including the U.S. Army Band and the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard and Fife and Drum Corps from the 3rd U.S. Infantry “The Old Guard.”
Army and Air Guard commands from nearly 30 states have pledged to help, and more than 4,000 troops are expected when Biden becomes president at noon.
“Every four years this is the biggest event that the National Guard works,” Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Craig Clapper, spokesman for the D.C. National Guard, told military.com.