President Bush is kicking off inaugural week festivities, saying he's excited about the "big agenda" he's planned for his second term.
Mr. Bush and first lady Laura Bush will attend a salute to America's military at a Washington sports arena Tuesday. The event's emcee is actor Kelsey Grammer and performers include Gloria Estefan and Bebe Winans.
This evening, the Bushes will attend a youth concert where Hillary Duff, Ruben Studdard and Boxkar will perform.
The week's events also include a number of lavish parties. Mr. Bush said he doesn't think it's inappropriate despite the Iraq war and last month's devastating tsunami, although he told, "I've never been much of a dancer, and the idea of going to 11 balls might be viewed as excessive."
Mr. Bush said it's important to celebrate a "peaceful transfer of power" and that he suspects inauguration guests have been generous in donating to tsunami victims.
"You can be equally concerned about our troops in Iraq and those who suffered at the tsunamis with celebrating democracy," he said.
Mr. Bush said he'll try to heal the wounds of a divisive election with his inaugural address, but acknowledged that time is short. "I have to get moving and get some things done before people kind of write me off," he said.
Meanwhile, dozens of security officials from 50 federal, state and local agencies will be watching the week's events unfold. For the first time, all of the federal agencies that deal with security, law enforcement and crisis response will be housed in one office, in northern Virginia.
Also new this time, under a post-Sept. 11 presidential order, the federal agencies will be under the command of a "principle federal officer" reporting directly to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
The FBI calls the massive effort to protect the president and others on Inauguration Day "the heaviest security" ever in the nation's capital.
They will use high-tech gear to keep close tabs on spectators, planes and even the air in Washington. Officials say that will eliminate confusion and duplication if something arises.
"If there is a piece of technology that exists, we've put it to use for this event," said Jim Rice, the FBI supervisory agent for the inauguration.
Despite all the preparation, U.S. officials say they have no indications that al Qaeda or any other terror group intends to attack the inauguration. If anything, officials have been saying that terrorist "chatter" picked up in intelligence channels about potential attacks is at a low point compared with previous major events.
A bulletin circulated within the U.S. government on Jan. 11 by the FBI, Homeland Security Department and Defense Department cited "no credible information domestic or international terrorists" are planning to attack the inauguration, according to a federal security official with access to the bulletin.
The bulletin goes on to say, however, that al Qaeda remains determined to mount another major attack on the U.S. homeland and that Washington is obviously a prime potential target. As a high-profile symbol of American democracy, officials involved in the inauguration's security are taking no chances when it comes to preparing for the worst.
"There are contingencies for everything," Rice said.