The day the world has been waiting for – some with fear and anxiety, others with excitement and joy – has arrived. Today at noon, Washington time, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Barack Obama, meanwhile, will no longer be officially referred to as "The President," and will instead be address as "President Obama," as he and his family move out of the White House after an eight-year run.
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The events of Inauguration Day will be kicked off at 8:30 A.M., Washington time (3:30 P.M. in Israel,) when Trump and his family will pray at St. John's Episcopal Church in central Washington. From there, Trump and his wife Melania will continue to the White House, where they will sit down for coffee with President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, as is customary. Then, President Obama and President-elect Trump will ride together to the Capitol to attend the swearing-in ceremony, which will kick off at 11:30 AM.
Trump will take the oath of office approximately at noon, placing his hand on two Bibles – one that has been owned by him for decades, and another that belonged to President Abraham Lincoln. After that, Trump will deliver a speech that will be approximately 20 minutes long. As that part of the day wraps up, the Obamas will depart from the East Front of the Capitol, while Trump – by then, President Trump – will continue with the day's official schedule, which includes a review of the American armed forces and a parade from the Capitol to the White House through Pennsylvania Avenue. Friday's events will end with three inaugural balls that the Trumps are expected to attend.
On Saturday, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are set to arrive for a prayer service at 10:00 A.M. local time at the Washington National Cathedral. This event will mark the end of the inaugural schedule. At the very same time, a large protest march under the headline "The Women's March on Washington" will begin in Capitol Hill. The organizers expect hundreds of thousands of participants, and possibly more than a million people who will attend other protests around the country at the same time.
As these events unfold, the Obama family will be on the other side of the country, in Palm Springs, California. They are expected to take off from Joint Base Andrews, outside of Washington, at 1:40 PM. Before their departure, Obama will deliver short remarks to the press, in his first public appearance as a former president.
On Thursday evening, hundreds of Obama's supporters gathered in downtown Washington for an event applauding Obama for his achievements as president, under the headline "Thanks, Obama." The attendees wrote on posters what they wished to thank the outgoing president for, with many of them mentioning the Affordable Care Act.
"That was his biggest achievement, if you ask me," said Malcolm Jones, who came with his wife to the event. "That, and killing Osama bin Laden. So yeah, I'd like to thank him."
Peggy, a Washington resident who grew up in southern Alabama and had lived through the days of racial segregation, told Haaretz that "It's important for me to thank this man and his family for their service to our nation. His legacy will be appreciated in the future even more than it is today."
While the Obama family heads for a vacation in California and the Trumps enter the White House, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will leave Washington around 1 P.M. on an Amtrak train that will take them to their home in Wilmington, Delaware. For Biden, who for decades took pride in his habit of taking the train to Washington, even when he was an acting senator, this ride will be a moment of personal closure. However, the New York Times reported Thursday that the Bidens "intend to find a small house in Washington near their friends Barack and Michelle Obama so that Dr. Biden can continue teaching English at a community college in Northern Virginia."