Support our mission
 
A service member plays taps during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery during Medal of Honor Day, March 25, 2016.
A service member plays taps during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery during Medal of Honor Day, March 25, 2016. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden, accompanied by three former presidents, will lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery following his Jan. 20 inauguration.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee said Monday that Biden would lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – one of his first acts as president – as a way of “honoring our men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our common values.”

Biden will be joined by his wife, Jill Biden, as well as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. Former presidents Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton, and Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, will also be present at the ceremony.

Absent from the list is President Donald Trump, who said last week he plans to skip Biden’s swearing-in. Trump made the statement Friday, just days after a pro-Trump mob stormed into the U.S. Capitol building.

The Capitol riots, which resulted in five deaths, created concerns over security at Biden’s inauguration. As of Monday, Biden’s swearing-in ceremony was still planned for the west front of the Capitol building.

“America United” is the theme of Biden’s inauguration, the committee announced Monday.

“This inauguration marks a new chapter for the American people – one of healing, unifying, of coming together, of an America united,” said Tony Allen, CEO of the inaugural committee. “It is time to turn the page on this era of division.”

Biden’s swearing-in ceremony will be scaled down from typical inaugurations because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In place of people converging near the U.S. Capitol to watch the events, the inaugural committee plans to display nearly 200,000 American flags across the National Mall. The committee is asking people to sponsor a flag by donating to their choice of six charities.

Wentling.nikki@stripes.com Twitter: @nikkiwentling

Migrated
author headshot
Nikki Wentling has worked for Stars and Stripes since 2016. She reports from Congress, the White House, the Department of Veterans Affairs and throughout the country about issues affecting veterans, service members and their families. Wentling, a graduate of the University of Kansas, previously worked at the Lawrence Journal-World and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The National Coalition of Homeless Veterans awarded Stars and Stripes the Meritorious Service Award in 2020 for Wentling’s reporting on homeless veterans during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2018, she was named by the nonprofit HillVets as one of the 100 most influential people in regard to veterans policymaking.
twitter Email

stars and stripes videos


around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up