"So, emotionally, so moving, to see where we've all come at this particular time. It's beautiful," said Rev. Tracy Johnson, Zion.
At the magical moment, Marjorie Dugrot of Skokie clutched photos of her grandson and of her deceased parents who grew up in the South.
"They went through all the hardships of living in the South, the colored washrooms and my mother not being age to get an education," said Marjorie Dugrot, Skokie.
While official estimates are not available, the flag-waving crowd of well over 1 million people stretched from the capital steps to the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial.
"We had the tools the whole time to love America. We just thought we weren't allowed to but now we are and it's a beautiful thing," said Noah Lawrence, student.
"It's something bigger. Got to be something bigger. Look at all these people. Everybody is ready for a change. Otherwise we wouldn't be out here," said David Luyando, Chicago.
The huge crowd was the largest ever attracted by Obama. Getting there at first caused traffic gridlock, then shutdown the capital.
South Sider Garrick Redmond, who attended Obama's Election Night celebration in Grant Park, had the same good feeling as he left the Mall.
"It was that electricity that we felt back in Chicago. It was right here in D.C.," said Redmond.