GATHERING MASSES

Associated Press
A ceremonial Coast Guard honor guard stands in front of the U.S. Capitol before the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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A ceremonial Coast Guard honor guard stands in front of the U.S. Capitol before the ceremonial swearing-in …

A heavy and steady stream of people is heading toward the National Mall as the sun comes up, but there isn't the same early morning crush of humanity there was at this time four years ago for President Barack Obama's first inauguration.

With several hours to go before the main event, people are having their pictures taken with a flag-draped Capitol building in the background.

"I'm not a crowd person, and I was pretty astounded when they estimated there would only be 800,000," says Betsy Seeber of Doylestown, Pa.

It's cool and there's a steady breeze. Handwarmers are being sold by street vendors at three for $5. In 2009, when temperatures were in the 20s, vendors were getting $5 each.

"I'm cold, but we came prepared," says Janice Boyd of Bentonville, Ark.

— Richard Lardner — Twitter http://twitter.com/rplardner

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Inauguration Watch follows the events of President Barack Obama's second inaugural. Look for short items and photos throughout the day.

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