WASHINGTON, D.C.–Cold and sunny, the mood anticipating the arrival of the president was electric. At the National Mall, people who had flown in from all over the country and some from other parts of the world, filled the seats, covered the green lawn and lined the barriers. It was a beautiful occasion, even for the second time. But even more special, it was the day America recognized one of the greatest civil rights leaders the world has known–the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

Although the attendance did not hit the high mark of four years ago, the energy may have. With each programmatic event, the energy soared higher in anticipation of the main event–the president taking the oath of office. It was the first time all over again. Parents, children, the elderly, and people of all races sported Obama gear–flags, banners, signs, presidential pins . . . .

There were cheers and tears as second-term President Barack H. Obama recited the 35-word presidential oath.

Beyoncé wowed in song with the National Anthem, no one being the wiser that her rendition had been pre-recorded.

Following the hope-filled ceremony, fans, voters, Americans and even Canadians (whose embassy was perfectly planted in view of the presidential parade) lined the streets to greet the first couple and Vice President Joe and Jill Biden.

Down Pennsylvania Avenue, faces lighted with excitement, joy, and appreciation. Throngs waved at the president, fluttering the American flag and holding babies on their shoulders.

Amid the crowd was Darcelle (no last name given), a student who ventured up from Texas because she believed the second inauguration was a necessary experience in honor of her grandmother, the child of a former slave.

“This is very special to me because this is the first inauguration that fell on the Martin Luther King birthday holiday,” the 25-year-old student said. “My grandmother has a third-grade education, 85-years-old, and used to pick cotton. She is still living in Dallas.”

Brian Maddox from Landover, Md., explained why he came to D.C.:
“I really wanted to be a part of what he’s [Obama] planning on doing over his next four years. He has a daunting task. He has four years to get his plans, his programs implemented and try and leave a legacy in the White House that isn’t marred with controversy.”

But all weren’t satisfied with the election results.

A group of protesters lay out on the ground at the National Mall, covered themselves with sheets splattered with red paint, resembling blood, chanting and holding up signs that read, “STOP KILLER DRONES.”

Other protesters held up 7-foot signs of abortion pictures.

But the demonstrations couldn’t kill the mood. Instead, Obama supporters carried on and celebrated the second term of America’s first Black president.

Parties and balls kept D.C. alight all night.

At the official ball, Alicia Keys set the fire on stage with a modified version of “This Girl Is on Fire,” with lyrics that proclaimed “Obama’s on fire.”

Other performances kept the crowd entertained until the president and first lady finally floated onto stage. Michelle Obama wore her brand-new bangs hairstyle and was gracefully adorned with a long red ball gown by Jason Wu, the same designer whose gown she wore at the president’s first inaugural ball.

Jennifer Hudson sang Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” kicking off the rest of the soulful evening.

Supporters celebrated the whole night through, many commenting how great and momentous the occasion was.

June Robinson from Baltimore, Md., a mother of two boys and volunteer for the Obama campaign, elegantly clad in a burgundy gown, explained that her support for the president stemmed from her desire to demonstrate the possibilities her forefathers and mothers only dreamt about.

“I wanted them to see that it is possible being African American to become president. So I volunteered in ’08 and then again in ’12,” she said, adding that being elected a second term was validation for supporters. “It means the first one wasn’t a fluke and that we believe in him and his principles and what he stands for.”

Elaine Marcisse, also from Baltimore, shared a sentiment that being a part of the 2013 inauguration was a rare opportunity, as the future of who will next serve in the most powerful seat in the world is unknown.

“I think a lot of people disqualified him after the first election, because he was just based maybe on the race card,” she said. “However, this election shows that the people really believe in the president and that the first election wasn’t just an accident, but it was a planned event and this one solidifies and confirms why the United States still believes in our president.”