"Oh my God, this is a dream," Nikki LeCompte told ABC News after driving from Houston to Washington. "I'm the generation after King, and my kids are the generation of Obama."
According to the latest poll numbers, three in four Americans were planning to watch or listen as the 44th president took office.
"That's all we want is one good president for all people," 107-year-old Ann Nixon Cooper told ABC News from her Atlanta home.
As the spotlight centered on him over the weekend, Obama threw it back to shine on the American people.
"What gives me the greatest hope of all is not the stone and marble that surrounds us today, but what fills the spaces in between," Obama told Sunday's crowd packed between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument for inauguration weekend's "We are One" concert.
"It is you -- Americans of every race and region and station who came here because you believe in what this country can be and because you want to help us get there."
"As I prepare to assume the presidency, yours are the voices I will take with me every day I walk into that Oval Office -- the voices of men and women who have different stories but hold common hopes; who ask only for what was promised us as Americans - that we might make of our lives what we will and see our children climb higher than we did," he said in his Sunday speech.
ABC News' Viviana Hurtado, Pierre Thomas, Gary Langer, Richard Coolidge, Jason Ryan, Ann Compton, Howard Schoenholtz, Chuck Lustig, Jonathan Newman and Zoe Magee contributed to this report.