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US Presidential Inauguration: Joe Biden will be oldest president to take oath

Washington : President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, listen as Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, delivers the invocation during a COVID-19 memorial, with lights placed around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, (AP)Premium
Washington : President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, listen as Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, delivers the invocation during a COVID-19 memorial, with lights placed around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, (AP)

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in at the West Front of the US capitol during the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony.

When Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. takes the oath to become the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, he will be the oldest person ever sworn in as president. Biden turned 78 in November 2020.

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in at the West Front of the US capitol during the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony.

Inauguration eve is normally a time of massive crowds gathering in the capital, but Biden, joined by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, were almost alone on the empty National Mall due to Covid restrictions and heightened security after the deadly riot at the US Capitol.

On the Mall's grassy expanse, some 200,000 flags have been planted to represent the absent crowds at the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday.

Trump, who has not appeared in public for a week, broke days of silence with a pre-recorded farewell video address.

For the first time he asked Americans to "pray" for the success of the incoming administration -- a change from months spent persuading his Republican followers that the Democrats cheated their way to election victory.

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Biden's inauguration is taking place under the shadow of the unprecedented health crisis and protests in the US.

The security in the capital has been beefed up amid a high level of security concerns following the January 6 Capitol riots.

In his victory speech in his hometown, Wilmington, Delaware in November, Biden pledged to unite the country as he called it 'a time to heal in America'. "I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify; who doesn't see red states and blue states, only sees the United States," Biden said.

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1942 and moved to Delaware as a child.

At age 29, Biden became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. Weeks later, tragedy struck the Biden family when his wife Neilia and daughter Naomi were killed and sons Hunter and Beau critically injured in an auto accidentBiden was sworn into the US Senate at his sons' hospital bedside and began commuting from Wilmington to Washington every day. For five years, he raised Beau and Hunter as a single father, with the help of his sister Valerie and his family.

Biden married again five years after Neilia's death, to his current wife Jill. The couple married on June 17, 1977, at the United Nations Chapel in New York City and has one daughter together, Ashley Blazer, who was born in 1981.

The 2020 race marked Biden's third attempt at running for President. He first tried in 1988 but dropped out after allegations of plagiarism. He ended his second attempt in 2008 after garnering less than one per cent in the crucial Iowa caucuses.

Biden served as vice president in the former president Barack Obama administration for two terms from 2008 to 2016. Biden and Obama developed a close friendship from what had initially been a more strategic pairing, with Biden credited for using his working-class roots, folksy flourishes and experience to help shore up support for the country's first Black president from older white Americans in key northern swing states, said Al Jazeera.

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