Georgia Southern professor reflects on importance of inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Capitol Hill in Washington...
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)(AP)
Updated: Jan. 20, 2021 at 6:40 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It was a historic day in America as the 46th President of the United States was sworn in next to the nation’s first woman of color as the vice president.

Though the inauguration looked different, political science experts say it still signified something powerful.

“Inauguration Day is among the most important events in our democracy,” explained Dr. Lara Wessel.

Dr. Lara Wessel is an associate professor of political science at Georgia Southern University. She says while Wednesday’s ceremony was different than normal, it was still critical to not only fulfill the constitution but display the transition of power.

While the day was about the entire country, she says the peach state played a critical role.

“Georgia played an important part in the weeks leading up to the inauguration,” said Wessel.

Not only did the state vote for the now president, but she says they voted for the two senators who will flip the majority.

Dr. Wessel felt the ceremony focused not on this win, but on the need for unity. She felt it represented several voices and looks to address our country’s challenges.

“I would suggest that we all bear a responsibility in terms of moving forward our elected officials, media, particularly social media and every one of us have to try to find common ground in order for us to get past what is arguably been one of the most divisive periods in history.”

While the inauguration marks the start of a new chapter, Dr. Wessel says the work is far from over for voters and encourages Georgians to stay engaged in the process.

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