After a bruising campaign, and unusually contentious post-election period, President Obama savored his second and final Inauguration Day as a brief respite from political storms and celebratory moment for his hundreds of thousands of adoring supporters.
As he walked off the inaugural platform on the west front of the U.S. Capitol, Obama turned and paused to look out at the crowd on the National Mall, even as his family and other guests continued ahead without him.
"I want to take a look one more time," Obama was heard saying. "I'm not going to see this again."
Organizers estimated as many as 800,000 Americans would pack the mall, stretching from the Capitol west to the Lincoln Monument, and all along the parade route down Pennsylvania Ave.
At a candlelight reception for his supporters Sunday night, Obama reflected on their meaning to him.
"Throughout my career, what's always given me energy and inspiration and hope, what's allowed me to stand up when I've been knocked down, are folks like you," Obama said. "The decency, the goodness, the resilience, the neighborliness, the patriotism, the sense of duty, the sense of responsibility of the American people. You have inspired me throughout."