While most of America watched it on television, a group of Carson High School students watched from the National Mall as President Barrack Obama took the oath of office for his second term.
"The inauguration was such an amazing experience, and I am going to remember it for the rest of my life," said Courtney Hack, 18, a Carson High School senior. "I am so honored to get this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness history."
Government teacher Angila Golik organized the student trip to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration.
"The ceremony was amazing," she said. "It was wonderful. You're there with (three-quarters) of a million people who are legitimately there supporting the president."
Golik took a group of students four years ago, where the historic inauguration of the first black president drew about 1.8 million people to the nation's capital in below-freezing temperatures.
The crowd for Monday's swearing-in ceremony, which coincided with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was estimated at about 700,000.
"It was day and night from the last time," Golik said. "The temperature was around 40 degrees with barely a breeze. It was absolutely perfect."
Students arrived in Washington, D.C., on Friday and have been touring historic landmarks, monuments and museums in the area.
On Monday, they caught their bus at 5:15 a.m. then walked about a mile and a half to their spot behind the Lincoln Memorial Reflective Pool.
Golik said that while some students expressed opposing political ideals from the president, all were respectful during the ceremony.
"He was a president today," she said, "not a Democrat."
Sydney Knorzer, 17, wished everyone could have laid partisanship aside for the day.
"The one thing that got to me was the disrespect from the people around me when the Republican representatives walked to their seats," she said. "Even though I might not have supported everyone there, I showed respect."
Still, she said, she was moved by the experience.
"I got to see the president and vice president get sworn in to office," she said. "There were so many people there it was incredible."