By Catherine Ross — January 21, 2013  

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Today thousands lined Pennsylvania Avenue to catch a glimpse of the Commander in Chief. The newly sworn in President Obama began his second term with a private luncheon and a military review on Capitol Hill. But his 1.5 mile procession from the Hill to the White House was a much more public event.

All 5 branches of the United States Military kicked off the parade that included more than 8,800 participants, floats and marching bands. A wave of roarous applause signaled the President’s approaching motorcade. The heavily armored limousine halted at the intersection of 9th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue. Spectators began chanting “Obama, Obama” when President Obama and the First Lady emerged from the car. The First Couple returned greetings to the crowd and joined hands with each other.

This appearance was the highlight of the day for many paradegoers. The crowd at 9th and Penn thinned once the Obamas were out of sight.

“I saw the President. Now I can die happy,” one woman said while leaving with her family.

“That was totally worth waiting 7 hours for,” a teen girl commented to her friend.

The President and First Lady walked for 3 blocks before returning to their limousine. They watched the rest of the parade from a viewing screen near the White House.