WASHINGTON -- Inauguration Day is always filled with much pomp and circumstance. But the next four years will most likely be filled with a heavy dose of reality and bickering between the Obama administration and Republicans on Capitol Hill.
But partisan rancor was put on hold Monday as more than a half a million people waited in some pretty chilly temperatures to witness the event.
David Richardson, from Atlanta, and his two children were among those in attendance.
"We wanted to see history, I think, and also for the children to witness that anything is possible through hard work," the Georgia resident said.
The crowd was about half the size this year compared to four years ago when President Obama had his historic triumph. The inauguration parade, however, was just as impressive as in 2009.
The route stretched for roughly one mile, with close to 9,000 people taking part in the parade. The floats included ones that represented the states of the first and second families.
There were also floats dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as a float called "The Civil Rights Float."
"[I]t's really this president's focus on service as a tribute to Dr. King that has made this inauguration so special," The Michigan Chronicle quoted Steve Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
"It's building on the commitment [President Obama] made in 2009 to make the inauguration not just about the celebration of the president, but also a celebration of our country and the rich diversity of our country," he said.
One of the groups performing at the inauguration was the very famous and Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. The 280-member choir is diverse to say the least, with all different ethnicities and economic backgrounds.
"We have doctors. We have people who have been addicted to drugs but found faith. We have lawyers. We have formerly homeless people," Carol Cymbala, choir director and wife the church's pastor, told the New York Daily News.
When the sun rises Tuesday morning, all the singers, floats and marching bands will be gone. What will transpire next could be legislative gridlock.
In his second term, Obama will try to pass comprehensive immigration reform and an assault weapons ban. Neither is going to be easy.
There is also a real possibility that Republicans will shut down the federal government if the president doesn't get serious about cutting spending.