The Unprepared City Prepares for the Worst Leading up to the 59th Inauguration


The nation's capital will see the biggest security presence of any inauguration in U.S. history.



Photos from this week show the Nation’s capital mounting an unprecedented show of force to defend the peaceful transfer of presidential power as the nation approaches the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies on January 20th, 2021.


Warnings of extremist violence in the wake of the insurrection at the US Capitol that shook the nation on January 6th, 2021, have sent authorities to launch a massive operation to protect the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on January 20.


For days, thousands of National Guard soldiers and airmen have been pouring into the city, to protect the nation’s Capital, and by Inauguration day, up to 25,000 troops will be in place to guard against security threats. There is a new 7-foot tall ‘non-scalable’ fence surrounding the Capitol complex, one that officials say cannot be scaled. And there’s a huge perimeter set up around the White house extending all the way up to 19th – 14th Streets and K Street – Constitution Avenue.


The National Mall announced on January 15 the temporary closure of the Mall to the general public, extending through at least Thursday, January 21. And while the inaugural festivities will be significantly smaller than in previous years as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, this is a major change from the scene where typically thousands would gather to watch the new president being sworn in on the west front of the Capitol dating back to 1981. Other closures include restaurants in an already apocalyptic 10 month period.



Two armed Police Officers carrying rifles stand guard at a vehicle checkpoint outside the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 16th, 2021 in Washington D.C (Photo/Julian Leshay)




The United States Capitol is fenced off and guarded heavily in the upcoming days of Joe Biden’s Inauguration. This is seen from South Capitol Street in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan.16th, 2021. (Photo: Julian Leshay)




A heavily armed member of the National Guard is standing behind a 7-foot tall ‘non-scalable’ fence outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




The Capitol reflects on a large, but shallow puddle caused by the rain the night before in Washington D.C. on January 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A National Guard troop transport truck blocks the traffic on North Capitol Street playing its part in creating a perimeter around the Capitol in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A military troop transport truck blocks 18th Street in preparation for Inauguration Day events in Washington D.C. on Jan.16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A group of National Guard soldiers pack up their backpacks, guns, and other equipment to move locations in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A group of National Guard soldiers pack up their backpacks, guns, and other equipment to move locations in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A military rifle without its clip lies atop an army rucksack along with other National Guard supplied and equipment in Washington D.C. on Jan. 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A group of National Guard soldiers pack up their backpacks, riot shields, guns, and other equipment to move locations in Washington D.C. on Saturday, January 16th, 2021.




A man on a scooter, a couple walking, and the Lincoln Memorial peak out above the steps and fences in Washington D.C. on January 16th, 2021. (Photo: Julian Leshay)




A lone soldier stands in between two columns facing the west side of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on Jan. 16th, 2021. (Photo: Julian Leshay)




The National Monument stands tall on a blue clear sky next to the closest point I could reach to the monument, Independence Ave in Washington D.C. on Jan. 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




On a bridge across Tidal Basin erected fences separate a couple and a jogger from the National Monument in Washington D.C. on Jan.16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A construction crew uses a Lull to erect steel fences around the National Mall in order to protect Inauguration events from violent right-wing interference in Washington D.C on Jan.16th, 2021.




One of many street closures in order to ensure safety in the upcoming days to Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A Dunkin Donuts boards up all of it’s windows while alerting customers they “are open” in preparation for violence in response to Joe Biden’s Inauguration in Washington D.C. on January 16th, 2021. (Photo: Julian Leshay)




Plywood is put up over the windows of a Residence Inn By Marriott with love and firearm warning stickers on them in Washington D.C. on January 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Association (WMATA) station closes from Jan. 15 to Jan. 21st due to Inauguration preparations in Washington D.C. on January 16th, 2021. (Photo: Julian Leshay)




1801K is a multi-tenant office building with wooden boards covering its windows to prevent any damage from potential violence during Joe Biden’s Inauguration in Washington D.C. on January 16th, 2021. (Photo: Julian Leshay)




‘Battle republic 🎶’ ‘ painted in red, white and blue, in front of a new 7-foot tall ‘non-scalable’ fence in Washington DC, Jan. 16, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A pedestrian walks past an electronic ad board at a bus stop in Washington D.C. shows pictures of right-wing violent rioters and the FBI asking for information on who they might be in Washington D.C. on January 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




Two people crossing the street on 19th Street in Washington, DC, Jan. 16. 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




One of 20,000+ National Guard soldiers sent to DC for the Inauguration stands proudly with a military transport truck behind him in Washington D.C. on Saturday, January 16th, 2021.




Three National Guard soldiers positioned in front of a government building conversing in preparation for Joe Biden’s inauguration events in Washington D.C. on Jan. 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




A Lull drives past carrying a large steel fence to continue erecting a hopefully impenetrable barrier around the National Mall for Inauguration events in Washington D.C. on January 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




One of many Capitol Hill police vehicles blocking the roadways in order to ensure safety in the upcoming days to Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 16th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)




Julian Leshay and Alie Pierce have contributed to this story.


Follow Julian Leshay on IG and Twitter. Connect with WeekenderNJ on Facebook, Twitter and IG.


Alie Pierce may be reached at Alie.WeekenderNJ@gmail.com. Follow Alie Pierce on Twitter & IG. Connect withWeekenderNJ on Facebook, Twitter and IG.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

©2021 by WeekenderNJ. All rights reserved.