The story

Barack Obama's historic train ride to Washington on Saturday drew large, cheering crowds of people who braved freezing weather and gathered along the tracks in cities and small towns along the way in hopeful anticipation of getting a glimpse of the nation's next president.

In Baltimore, Maryland, alone, about 40,000 people stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the cold to greet Obama as he stopped on his way to his Tuesday inauguration.

His welcome was raucous and animated, as the sea of people cheered, waved and took pictures. Tears rolled down one woman's face as Obama spoke. "We love you, Obama!" another yelled out. "I love you back," Obama answered calmly, eliciting a roar from the crowd.

The same emotions were expressed up and down the tracks on the 137-mile journey, a trip that started in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and retraced the train ride Abraham Lincoln took on his way to becoming president in 1861. Watch Obama share the love

As he did so often during his campaign, Obama drew upon American history in his remarks to pose a parallel to the country's current challenges. He noted the struggles of the colonials, the "first patriots," against the British. Read full article »

CNN producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

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Inauguration coverage
Coverage of Obama's inauguration continues Sunday with the debut of John King's "State of the Union" and a three-hour special at 2 p.m. ET
Sunday, beginning 9 a.m. ET

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