I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I seriously love Washington DC.
Ok wait… On second hand, maybe I should have prefaced that.
Like most Americans I want to angrily pound my head against a concrete wall out of utter frustration when I see how dysfunctional politicians and political parties in DC can be. However, I love the history, the monuments, the museums, and the memorials of DC. As absolutely cheesy as it sounds, I love the reminders they give us of our past and the glimmer of hope those things present us for our future despite the tough obstacles and battles we face as a nation. I’ll always embrace a chance to visit DC, particularly if it’s not during the heat of summer or the bone chilling depths of winter.
A few weeks back I was there for a rare commercial shoot and spent some time after the shoot just exploring with no particular agenda in place.
While I had no idea when I scheduled the trip that the Supreme Court would be hearing one of the most controversial cases of the decade, I knew that I had to try to make a quick stop down there to see what all was going on. Even though the decision won’t get handed down for a few more months it was definitely an electric feeling to just be there outside and see so many people demonstrating so passionately for what they believe in.
Being at the Supreme Court while a controversial case is being heard is an unforgettable experience. Most of the people down there were normal every day people who had traveled across the country to either proclaim their emphatic opinions, revel in the energy of a passionate crowd, or just wanted to be able to say that “they were there.” (More than likely, it’s probably some combination of all three.) Of course, there were lots of interesting characters, some of them even protesting things that had absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage (like the issue of infant circumcision). There was this one interesting guy who was holding a Bible in one hand and a poster with a biblical verse in the other and was preaching to the crowd wearing a little microphone connected to a loud speaker on the ground next to him. Not sure exactly why he was wearing what seemed to be a potato sack over his suit… He and the protestors had a “mostly” civil discussion. It was certainly entertaining to watch.
If you’ve never seen the Vietnam memorial in person, it’s almost worth a trip to DC just to see that alone. The sheer number of names on the wall is utterly staggering. I wasn’t alive during Vietnam, and I’ve been to the monument several times in the past, but it never ceases to make it’s mark on me.
The Lincoln Memorial. Another favorite of mine in DC.