In a moment of madness, we decided to attend Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity. I actually don't fully agree with his message of moderation when it comes to political views but I am a huge fan of his in general. Plus we have been wanting to get back to Washington for several years. It was enough of an excuse to spend a weekend there together as a family.
Plus, it was fun to be part of something that was generally positive in a time of heavy negativity.
On the ride down on Friday, we realized we were not alone. Many cars also traveling on 95 South sported rallying cries, such as this one - "Sanity or Bust".
We joined the crowds at the Metro station - many with funny signs that I didn't photograph..."Give peace and quiet a chance" is the only one I remember at the moment. There was a definite feeling of festivity in the air. Plus, I got in a few rows on Lucy's sweater. It was all good.
The crowds just kept coming. We found a spot that, at first, seemed far from the action but within a half-hour, we realized we were deep in the centre of things. People were quiet and respectful, but it was a little scary. And more people were coming - as far as the eye could see up the side streets. At a certain point, Dan and I decided we needed to get out of there - it was just too scary, especially with Finn and Lucy. It took a good twenty minutes to get to the edge of the crowd.
We did see some good signs.
We decided to take the whole thing over the Smithsonian Museum of American History. It contains something that I have wanted to see for years - Julia Child's kitchen.
Lucy shares my love of Julia Child.
Talk about occupying the ground you stand on...Julia Child is such an inspiration to me. I got a little teary-eyed watching the videos.
And Finnian made sure we got to see Kermit.
We also took in the Vietnam War memorial for the first time and the Lincoln Memorial - both very affecting given our current national situation with two wars and a highly divisive culture that splits, in large part, along racial and economic lines.
Washington DC has such a different feeling from, say, Ottawa. Several of the signs we saw yesterday said things about "taking it down a notch". I think it is safe to say that we will be seriously taking it down a notch in a couple of weeks as we head for our northern home. There is a lot of sanity in Canada. And that is why we love it so. Yet, it was good to experience all the craziness that is the USA too. Seeing all those thousands and thousands of people, all rallying around the cause of being reasonable...well...it was very reassuring.