Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C., on Monday, January 21, to witness the public Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Many people had arrived before dawn to be part of the historic event. By mid-morning, the crowd stretched from the grassy lawn of Capitol Hill, along the National Mall to the Washington Monument. They chanted "O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma" and waved American flags.
After taking the oath of office just before noon, Obama delivered his Inaugural Address. "My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it, as long as we seize it together," he said. He talked about the issues that he will focus on in the years ahead, including immigration and the environment.
Barack Hussein Obama, 51, is the 44th President of the United States. He is also the first African-American U.S. President. A Democrat, Obama was first elected in 2008. He was reelected for a second four-year term on November 6, 2012.
As called for in the Constitution, the President and Vice President took the oath of office on January 20. The small private ceremonies took place on Sunday. The public swearing-in was held on Monday.
The McKoy family came to D.C. from Cary, North Carolina. Lizzy McKoy, 17, was moved by Obama's speech. "It has inspired me to follow my dreams," she told TFK. "I can do anything if I put in hard work."
The President's swearing-in was followed by a parade. President and Mrs. Obama waved as they walked side by side down Pennsylvania Avenue. In the evening, the First Couple danced at the two official Inaugural Balls.
The President enjoyed the celebration. But in a message, he expressed his eagerness to focus on the big job ahead. "I'm honored and grateful that we have a chance to finish what we started," he wrote. "Our work begins today. Let's go."
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