The words of Edward R. Murrow symbolize to me the collegiality and warmth of this marvelous rally: We will not be driven by fear into unreason.
I can’t begin to tell you what a delightful day this was for me and for the tens of thousands of Americans of all ages, who flocked into the capitol to show solidarity for the return to rational, humane discourse in this country. There was not a bit of rowdiness or irritation, though everyone was packed in like sardines, from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. And I’m sure the organizers never expected so many people or there would have been more monitors and loud speakers. But nobody seemed to care. We were there on a glorious autumn day to show our support. We couldn’t get close, so after awhile we sat on the grass with other families, watching the children play and listening to the music.
As Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, said in his opening remarks, and I urge you to hear the whole introduction on YouTube: “Don’t divide us…we’re all Americans.” Here are a few sentences out of context that really resonated with me. “It takes an exhaustive effort to hate.” His was a plea for unity and civility. “We can have animus, but not be enemies.” “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.” “We live in hard times. Not end times.” “And every day, despite our many problems, we work together to get things done.”
There were lots of homemade signs. Here are a few of them:
Moderate to the Extreme
Real Americans Don’t Use the Term ‘Real Americans’
Nobody but Hitler was Hitler
God Hates Nags
God Hates Figs (you know the parody, of course)
Clown to the Left of Me, Joker to the Right. Here I am, stuck in the Middle with YOU!
Real Patriots Can Handle a Difference of Opinion
And here are a few photographs. If only I could have been up in one of the trees so you could see the vast crowds, but the internet will show you that. Martha, my daughter, and I tried like mad to climb onto the verandas of several museums, but it was forbidden. Such is life. It was a grand day. We saw the sun rise and the sun set as we roared in our Maplewood bus along the highway. On the way down the roads were so crowded that we had to go north in Delaware and go off the beaten track to avoid the traffic. All in all, it was beautiful!