WASHINGTON DC, our national seat of government, is overwhelming. It's amazing, inspirational and full of history, art, and culture. And yet, in many ways it's not unlike other cities I've visited on my journey...
The District of Columbia was established on the banks of the Potomac River as a place to conduct our national business through three branches of federal government: the Capitol, White House and the Supreme Court. It's a collection of imposing monuments and structures -- designed to serve the country and preserve its ideals.
It's inspiring to visit memorials to our founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson who encouraged the colonists to reject the rule of monarchy and establish a democracy upholding individual rights. As principal author of the Declaration of Independence, his words clarified our national principles and morals: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Living up to those lofty ideals has been difficult over the years. President Lincoln took the country through its most bloody crisis, the Civil War, and "healed" the country to preserve the union, abolish slavery, and strengthen the federal government. (A struggle for justice, freedom, and equality that continues today.)
The most unsettling monuments to visit are the war memorials dedicated to those lost while defending our freedoms at home and abroad. The global World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, etc. They are a solemn reminder that freedom is both precious and costly -- not to be taken lightly.
And yet, just a few blocks away from the government seat and memorial parks there's an active urban life with shops, offices, parks, and homes -- people going about their daily business with tourists milling about. For the rest of us, life goes on as we conduct our everyday business.
Past lessons and future dreams are carried forward by each of us... Step by step. May we choose our way wisely!
Miles 3242, Week 38, Weather 75🌦