Virtual parade, military escort part of Biden inauguration plans

President-elect Joe Biden arrives at St. Edmond Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President-elect Joe Biden arrives at St. Edmond Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

There are still lots of details to be worked out before the inauguration on Jan. 20, but one thing is certain: Joe Biden won’t be crowing about the size of his inauguration crowd later this month.

The typically large-scale gathering on the National Mall will not happen this year as the Presidential Inaugural Committee is focused on preventing the spread of COVD-19 and limiting crowd sizes.

The group planning the ceremony, led by Delaware State University President Tony Allen, announced more details about the event Sunday night. After Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in, they’ll take part in a “pass in review,” where members of every branch of the military will pass by the new Commander in Chief for evaluation.

The president-elect will then be escorted by members of the military to the White House. Instead of an in-person inaugural parade, the committee is producing a “made-for-TV” virtual parade celebrating American heroes.

“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,” Allen said. “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.”

Prior to the inauguration, the committee will partner with community leaders around the country as part of the National Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Volunteer activities will focus on COVID-19 relief efforts as well as social issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic including poverty, hunger, racial injustice, homelessness and educational disparities.

“When Dr. King accepted the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, he underscored our collective responsibility to strive towards the ‘oughtness’ that confronts us as it does today,” Allen said. “We must have a shared commitment – in word and in deed – to bring the nation together in service to others.”

Volunteer events will be posted online at bideninaugural.org/day-of-service.

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