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).
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.