U.S. President Barack Obama kicks off his inaugural weekend joining volunteers remodeling an elementary school.
The First Lady joined in as part of National Day of Service.
As the President prepares to launch his second term he spoke of his hopes.
. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING:
"This is really what America is about. This is what we celebrate. This inauguration we are going to be, it is a symbol of how our democracy works and how we peacefully transfer power, but it should also be an affirmation that we are all in this together."
The U.S. capital is gearing up for the inauguration ceremony. Security is tight with organizers expecting 800,000 people.
While crowds are expected be less than his first inauguration, there is excitement in the air.
(SOUNDBITE) (English)UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN SAYING:
"I really do think he is a great president. I think his family is delightful and again just to be here for this historic occasion, I just want to pinch myself. I mean how great is this?"
For weeks, workers have been building viewing stands along the parade route for visitors.
The Obamas will lead the inaugural parade and later view it from in front of the White House.
The hard work will come soon enough -- but for now it is all about getting the details right for an occasion that comes once every four years.
Preparing for the inauguration with community service (1:27)
Jan. 19 - U.S. President Barack Obama begins inauguration weekend by participating in a nationwide day of community service. Deborah Lutterbeck reports ( Transcript )