Amid a most public occasion, private moments. People E-mailed loved ones. Some kissed. A father stroked his son's head. A woman from San Francisco touched a pin, once worn by her grandmother, in remembrance.
Shaun Parkin, 46, of Ashburn, Va., brought his five children, the youngest of them 7 years old, and in light of the bone-chilling cold, he gave his brood a pep talk, one suitable for the million or so who were witness.
"It's not in every country that you can get this many people to celebrate a new president's swearing in," he said. "It's a rare day."