The story

They came from all corners of the world, braved fiercely cold temperatures and stood together on the Mall in Washington to share in one historic moment -- when Barack Obama became the 44th president and the first African-American elected to the post.

Millions of people packed the Mall early Tuesday to watch Obama's inauguration and later hit the parade route to catch a glimpse of the new president. For many, the inauguration was the realization of a dream they never thought could be fulfilled.

This is America happening," said Evadey Minott of Brooklyn, New York. "It was prophesied by [the Rev. Martin Luther] King that we would have a day when everyone would come together. This is that day. I am excited. I am joyful. It brings tears to my eyes." Obama's speech: How did he do? Read full article »

CNN's Adam Levine, Ed Hornick, Valerie Streit, Scott J. Anderson and Kristi Keck contributed to this report.

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