It’s been nearly 30 years since I visited our nation’s capital. This past weekend, Al and I packed in a slew of sightseeing in Washington, D.C., around a family celebration in Virginia. In just over 48 hours, we visited the National Gallery, Lincoln Memorial at night, Vietnam Veterans Memorial (also at night), Supreme Court, Capitol grounds, Newseum, National Gallery Sculpture Garden, National Archives, Hirshhorn Museum and National Gallery East. On Saturday morning, in sweltering heat, we participated in the Families Belong Together protest rally in Lafayette Park, next to the White House.
I walked my feet off. It was worth it. The highlight of DC, for me, was seeing the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights at the National Archives. The parchment is huge, the writing faded, the signatures inscribed by human hands. The ideals endure. I was reminded by an exhibit about women’s suffrage at the National Archives and the chiseled words of Lincoln’s second inaugural address at the Lincoln Memorial of how much struggle and acrimony is embedded in our nation’s history. I felt the power and protection of the First Amendment in Lafayette Park.
Here are some of my favorite images from our trip: