We came, we saw, we rallied.
We read a lot of terrific signs.
[Click to embiggen any photos]
We did The Wave with the guys from Mythbusters.
And then we realized that we hadn’t seen a porta-potty and we were going to need one. The crowd was…. well, crowded! and we were too far away to see or hear clearly. So as politely as we could, we swam against the tide and headed for a museum.
Hey, the Newseum!
It was awesome. Inside the lobby is a ginormous viewing screen which was showing the live coverage of the rally on the Comedy Central channel. And there were already a bunch of other people who had the same idea. They were cheering and clapping. (Not for us — for Jon and Stephen and guests.) It was like being at the rally, only less crowded and with clean bathrooms. Although with the cost of admission, they were pretty expensive bathrooms.
From the windows and an upper story balcony, we could see the mass of people at the rally…
and those attempting to be at the rally. This is a view of a side street clogged with folks still trying to get in. But they were there. It counts.
Also, we had time to visit a real section of the Berlin Wall and a guard tower (only one in the USA and one of the few remaining left in the world — the rest were destroyed in the past 20 years).
After the rally was over, we headed back to the Mall for more photos of signs and a chance to photograph the [empty] stage.
Oh, look! The porta-potties we failed to find earlier in the afternoon —->
I strongly suspect that the bathrooms at the Newseum were much nicer, even if we did have to pay a pretty penny to get into the building.
I’ve been asked why I went. Why would someone who admittedly doesn’t like crowds willingly go to a rally on the Washington Mall? What made me desire to be there?
Here, in part, is the answer I gave to a few friends on facebook:
I hadn’t really thought of it so much of being part of something big — although it certainly was! — but more a matter of standing up in support of what Jon Stewart was saying when he announced the rally. The whole idea of there being a small but LOUD minority drowning out reason, when really there *is* a large, quiet, and mostly reasonable majority out there — a majority that doesn’t agree on political issues but who also don’t think shouting is the way to get your point across. When Jon said, “If you are wondering, am I really the type to go to a rally? The very fact that you are asking that question…The answer is YES.” …that got my attention.
The really wonderful thing, besides the huge show of support from the 200,000 people who showed up (hello, there ARE decent people on both sides!), was that everyone was just so NICE that day. I was a little worried about the political climate there, because I am rather moderate –neither extreme pleases me– and I have always voted independent of any political party, but there was no bashing of parties or individuals (well, fun was poked at Sarah Palin on some of the signs, but how can you NOT poke fun at her? She sort of begs for it. And there were a number of costumes with tea bags prominently featured).
All in all, Civility was the rule of the day.
That is what I observed in person.
Perhaps a part of me wanted to be a part of something big in Washington, D.C., while I was still living here — but only in pleasant weather.
Ultimately, I went because I wanted to stand up and be counted as a voice of reason.
It was a beautiful day.
And then we walked all the way back to the parking garage at George Washington University in Foggy Bottom, loaded our tired bodies into the car and got into the mass of traffic to go home…
…where we watched the entire event that I had wisely recorded. It was the best of both worlds. I can proudly say I WAS THERE but I could also enjoy watching the entire 3 hours of everything I’d missed being able to see… all while laying on the couch in my pajamas and resting my aching feet.
I wish I could’ve been there!
Wow, that is a lot of people. My husband would freak. 🙂 Glad you got to be there. Sounds like a worthy cause.
I watched about 2o minutes on TV. Crowds are my personal HELL so I would never be able to do that. I attended Woodstock 98 with all the riots and it turned me off mass gatherings forever.
The signs are hysterical. But I still think we should be afraid of bears and robots.
Karen, Colbert agrees about the fear. In all seriousness, there are things we should be afraid of — riots being one of them.
I’m so glad you attended – even if you weren’t able to hear or see much of the actual event. There’s something about humour that brings almost any message across better than without it. I loved the signs – thanks so much for sharing your views, both personal and visual. And so cool to see a piece of the Berlin wall. Truly a great post.. and I’m all for truthiness!
that is so cool! and what a fascinating opportunity!!!
I watched it live from the comfort of my apartment but my boyfriend took the 5am bus down and stood amongst the crowds. I think it was a terrific event that made people realize not everyone lives in the extreme. Rational people exist. I’m glad you had a great time and a clean bathroom!
i LOVED the spirit of everyone there! no one was taking themselves too seriously, and it basically seemed like a huge party of calm, reasonable people 🙂
I’m glad you went and had a good time! Thanks for sharing the pictures…the signs are GREAT!
I think it’s fantastic you went–and I love your bathroom strategy; I’m with you–it’s important!
Good for you all for going. I might have been able to go to the Newseum, but I know I would have been freaking out in the other crowd. Great signs, thanks for sharing with us.
I felt sorry for my kids. Amanda & Hector & Luz went down to DC that day TO A MUSEUM… for some research Hector needed to do for one of his college classes. They (like me) had NO IDEA about the rally!!! Well… until they got to the Metro station… Uh YEA. LOL! But truly… I dO hate crowds and honestly would NOT have had a good time there… even if everybody WAS bein’ nice… though I woulda liked to SEEN that many people bein’ nice. And playin’ fair. But then… they all came home and today happened. And they’re all back on “sides” again… pft! (I’m takin’ Thom’s place!)
Oh, I feel badly for your kids! We tried to take the Metro and had to give up and drive in because of the crowds just trying to get to the Metro station.
I’m trying to dwell on the getting along part of Saturday and not think about the sides that so many are back to yelling about today. I’m going to hope that the non-yelling, sane part of Saturday resonated with some people enough that they decided to “Stop, Listen, and Think.”
Thanks for sharing about your attendance. It looks like some memorable events from the accounts that I read.
I think that was one of those times you’ll look back on and be glad you were there…
I think that is wonderful that you were able to be there and stand for the rest of us who couldn’t!! Reason is a needed commodity nowadays for sure!!
Congrats on your POTW award…great photos and essay of the event!!
good for you! it was a beautiful day for it!
I didn’t know about this rally but it looks and sounds awesome. It would have given me goose bumps to be surrounded by so many people in this kind of atmosphere. Love the signs. I bet the people watching was great! Congratulations on POTW mention!
Congrats on your POTW. We also made it and enjoyed being there.
Wonderful. Love the photos and commentary. Though I do question the possibility of “restoring” sanity. Wouldn’t that imply there’s been some in recent memory?
Belated congratulations on your potw. Am just now catching up.
Yes! You’re an “It Getter”! Thank you for going and for reporting back. I was on the couch at home watching every moment and there with you in spirit. So was my whole family.
I wish I could have gone, but I’m so glad so many took the chance, and went. A grouping of kind, reasonable, witty people who all got together simply to prove that kindness, intelligence and decency is all a big part of our country’s equation. Thank you to all of you that went because for those of us that couldn’t? Wow, did you ever give a sense of hope and peace to those of us who tuned in.