Why was I there?
I think just to remind myself what freedom is all about, to raise awareness of the growing size of government, to be an example of involvement for my children,to speak out for the rights of the individual, and also to see who else would be there and connect with their energy.
My peace loving husband insisted NO SIGNS on the Metro. He didn't want to draw attention to ourselves.
Ummm, yeah. No worries there. We were like lame-o boring protesters on the Metro. (This is at 7:00 am, as they gates for the metro opened. This is 3 hours before the march. )
As we gather, cops and patriots alike were there surveying the scene. Before I knew it some guy offered us free t-shirts, which we willingly obliged. (okay, I grabbed an extra too and stuck it in my bag for someone back home. Is that horrible?)
BTW-you can get your own mob like t-shirt at Bureau Crash dot com
We start to mull around and snap pictures of clever signs and people there.
There was a group dressed in Colonial gear that brought drums to the rally and tapped beats as we marched. It set a tone to the march, and gave me goosebumps. (I'm a sap, I know!)
And possibly my favorite poster.......
Honestly, the atmosphere felt like a big social event. There was laughing and joking and hugging and I did not hear one cuss word (but a few posters quoted the famous line "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!") After the blessed event of finding an available porta potty, we joined the crowd and the bodies started moving.
We were marching on Pennsylvania Avenue, and two other neighboring streets filtered their crowds in as well.
My heart was pounding, even though I wasn't scared at all. I realized I was getting emotional. I stepped out of the flow of bodies to snap this picture. Many people were stopping to capture the words on the building.
One man next to me said "I drive past this every day! I never even thought about it! LOOK AT THIS!!!"
....that was all it took for me. The tears started.
Yeah, look at this. And think about how many centuries of people COULD NOT do this.
And while there were various chants and shouts of "No More Lies" or "USA", the vocal expression of choice was the singing of the "Star Spangled Banner". That, too, touched me. At moments I couldn't squeak out the notes through my choked up throat, and I felt silly for being so overwhelmed with emotion, but the feeling of the crowd was both enthusiastic and peaceful.
It was the most comforting and intense feeling, and it came at the most unexpected time.
I know there have been debates on how many people were really there (You Tube time lapsed videos and various uploads give a better feel for the crowd), but here's the thing. It doesn't even matter.
For a day we united and raised our voices.
For a moment I felt a taste of what I believe our Founding Fathers wanted us to feel.
Maybe someone at home saw the photos or the video and thought, "I should take a stand next time".
Even if it infused ONLY MYSELF with the strength to not be afraid and develop a greater respect for this country, then isn't that enough?
I don't know what you have heard, what you have read, and whether or not you agree with the ideals of that day, but know this. For those of us that were there it was nothing but great.
I love this country, I believe it is good, and I pray that my children will grow up with the same freedoms I have enjoyed in my life.
Maybe even more.
I leave you with the words of Edward Abbey for your pondering enjoyment.......
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."
Are you ready?