Falling back on the words of history

It was a very interesting time, sociologically speaking, to be in DC this past weekend.  At the risk of being obvious, some big stuff has happened in the last few years on the national political scene, as well as back home in Arkansas.

I’ve always loved DC.  I first visited during Close Up (remember that?) in high school, then went back a few times to visit more, and then spent an amazing summer as an intern for the State Department; I lived in a women’s boarding house two blocks from the Senate building, and would run on the Mall at night, stopping to listen to a military band on the steps of the Capitol. The city inspired me, challenged me, made me both proud to be American and determined to help her be a better, stronger place.

This weekend’s visit was short and fragmented, bookended by monuments/memorials: Iwo Jima and Arlington Cemetery on Friday, MLK, FDR and Jefferson on Monday.

As I wandered alone, sometimes in respectful silence, sometimes amidst chattering tourists, I felt something I’ve never felt before when visiting DC.  It might have been sadness, or at the very least, a healthy sense of un-settlement, mostly because the loft and inspiration of the monuments/memorials I visited seemed so incredibly out of touch with the quagmire of our politics today.

Without getting into my personal political views I thought I’d share some of the most impactful words I came across in my wanderings.  Enjoy.

headstone

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