Sunday, November 16, 2008

Patriotic sights--July 2008: Part I

(Gettysburg Address, the Lincoln Memorial)

(Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C, July 2008)

(steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech)

(Jefferson Memorial)

(Washington Monument, White House)

Okay, I'm veering away from the desert a bit...

In July, 2008, I visited Washington, D.C., for the first time. My family and I toured the Capitol area and the National Mall. Though I've seen these sights so often on TV or in the movies, I felt a visceral stir seeing in person the White House and Washington Monument, the statue of President Lincoln, and the Gettysburg Address carved in huge letters into the marble walls of the Lincoln Memorial.

I stood in the exact spot where Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood and looked from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the throngs below to deliver "I Have a Dream." Seeing these amazing sights made me appreciate our country more than ever before.

We toured much of the Smithsonian Museum (clusters of large buildings dotted along the Mall) and the National Archives where the Declaration of Independence is on display in a marble-floored, dimly-lit hall.

At 11:00 PM on our last night of touring D.C., we visited the Jefferson Memorial. The night was still and balmy, the Memorial lit with a pink light. William and I stood on the steps and looked across the Potomac at the Washington Monument, beyond it the White House.

I felt a swell of gratitude and appreciation that we live in a country founded on the great principles written in the Declaration of Independence: "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Maybe it's because it's election year that my patriotism and pride are stirred again. No matter who each of us voted for, I hope that we can march forward in unity behind our new president and work together. I'm glad to be an American.

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