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Blunt kicks off ‘commonplace and miraculous’ transfer of power

A moment after President-elect Donald Trump arrived on the platform at the Capitol, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Activities, kicked off the inauguration ceremony with remarks about the nation’s “commonplace and miraculous” tradition of a peaceful transition of power.

“Millions of people all over the world will watch and will listen to this event,” Blunt said, adding that the ceremony is “not a celebration of victory, but a celebration of democracy.”

Blunt’s remarks were followed by prayers led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York.

Live coverage of Trump’s inauguration
The U.S. Capitol frames the backdrop over the stage during a rehearsal of President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony this week in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Donald Trump will be sworn in Friday during an inauguration that’s expected to draw between 700,000 and 900,000 people. Security officials said there are 63 demonstration groups, pro and con, also expected Friday. Follow our liveblog for updates through this afternoon’s inaugural parade.