Contemporary commentary from Doug Hagler:
Not cynical fear-mongering, not knowingly spreading ignorance, not vapid scribblings on a chalk-board, not comparing everyone to a Nazi, not hypocrisy married to self-righteousness, not infantile partisan one-upmanship, not snarling jingoist xenophobia. Masterful rhetoric from a heart moved by love even for those who would destroy him, telling us who we are called to be.
Originally we had planned to try to take a bus from Aleix's to Rosslyn. However, the parking garage we parked in on Sunday was pretty convenient and reasonably priced (~$40 for inauguration day), so we decided to drive to Rosslyn and park. The route we'd taken on Sunday to get to Rosslyn was closed (except for buses and taxis), so we were briefly worried about getting there. However, we were able to use the navigation to head in the right direction and arrived without much difficulty. We were also worried that the trains would be packed by the time we got to Rosslyn. It was crowded, but we were able to squeeze onto the first one.
Here's a photo outside the Federal Center South West metro stop.
Since we didn't eat breakfast, we grabbed a hot dog (unexpectedly, they were spicy) and Coke outside the metro station. While we were standing there, a limo drove up next to us. A cop was yelling at the driver to move it out of here. We were surprised to see Donovan McNabb and several fur-clad ladies (looked like his mom and aunts, perhaps) get out of the limo and start walking toward the inauguration.
Here are a couple of videos from when we were standing in line:
At one point as we stood in line, a group of elderly African Americans broke into a gospel song. Too bad I didn't get it on video and that they didn't continue singing because it was nice to hear. We should have encouraged them to keep singing.
Here's a picture of security:
After a couple of hours in line, we were finally in our ticketed area to watch the inauguration. We were in the silver section. It was so far away from the action, that Lisa didn't even realize it was a ticketed section when she first looked at the map of the inauguration area. We were basically on the mall, just in front of the mall area where you didn't need a ticket. Since the steps of the capital were so far away, we positioned ourselves in front of a jumbotron.
Here are a couple nice photos from the AP (from the nice collection on the Boston Globe's site) where I've indicated our location.
A photographer named David Bergman took a 1,474-Megapixel photo during the inaugural address. You can zoom around in the picture. If you zoom into the area of the jumbotron in background on the right hand side just past the water, you might be able to catch a glimpse of Lisa's green hat. Here are the links for that:
1,474-Megapixel photo: link
Post on David Bergman's blog: link
The audio was poor. It wasn't loud enough, there was a delay, and you also heard it with even more delay coming from other places on the mall. I was surprised that at both the concert and the inauguration they didn't have the technology to have the video and audio in sync. At least at the concert it was loud enough. I followed things by reading the closed captioning. For shorter people like Lisa, that wasn't much of an option either. It was quite cold. The crowd blocked the wind, but your feet became quite cold. Everyone was complaining that the toe-warming packets weren't working. Standing for so long took quite a toll on our backs too. All in all, it was great being there with the masses of so many different kinds of people sharing in the moment, but the conditions weren't so great for actually viewing the inauguration.
Here are some photos I took:
Here is a video of the crowd:
As soon as Obama finished talking, many folks starting trying to leave. We did too because Lisa's back was bothering her so badly, so we missed the last prayer. However, it still took quite a while before we were able to get out of the venue. People were taking apart the fences to try to get out but still having a hard time finding an exit. Here is a photo of the area afterwards:
Rather than waiting in line to get on a crowded metro, we walked out of the city and back to Rosslyn (after stopping for hot chocolate and a cookie). It took about an hour. Here are a few photos from the walk:
Here is a video I took while walking out:
By the time we got back to Rosslyn, Jonathan was starving so we grabbed a bite to eat and then hit the road to head back towards Michigan. We didn't have much trouble getting out of town except some initial difficulty due to road closures.
It was a fun weekend and quite an experience. We were definitely glad we only had 2 tickets (and therefore decided not to bring the kids). I doubt we'll do it again (unless we have much closer tickets!).
We checked out of the hotel and drove toward Aleix's place. Instead of dropping the van off at Aleix's and getting a ride to the metro, we decided to drive to Rosslyn and park there. Then we took a train into the city.
We made our way to the Hawk and Dove restaurant for the CoC/Inauguration Tweetup. We met online friend GKB and his wife Sara as well as several other ACU folks there (like Tanya, Brandon, Matt; still bummed that Freeman and Stanley bailed on the trip). The restaurant was crowded, so we packed in as many of us as we could around a few small tables. Here are a couple photos:
Most of those folks were planning to meet Shaun Casey for dinner, but we had other plans (Slate's Political Gabfest live). Casey is a graduate of ACU who now teaches at Wesley Theological Seminary in D.C. He was Obama's evangelical outreach coordinator during the campaign. We decided to make our way to the Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church to hear Shaun Casey's symposium talk "The Wisdom of Serpents: Christians and the Obama Administration." A new friend from the Tweetup (Matt Lowe) went with us. We tried to get on a nearby subway, but the lines were enormous. There were also huge lines as people were trying to pick up their inauguration tickets. That's when we realized what a big favor Fitz had done for us by picking up our inauguration tickets from Dave Camp's office on Friday. We ended up hoofing it over to the church, arriving just in time for Casey's talk.
After Casey's talk, we walked around a bit and found the metro stop for the trip back to Rosslyn after the Gabfest.
Here are a couple of photos from inside the synagogue were the live Gabfest (a political podcast that we listen to) event was held:
After the Gabfest we took the metro back to Rosslyn and drove to Aleix and Libby's house. It had been nearly twenty years since I'd seen Aleix, so it was great catching up with him and meeting his wife and kids. They're political insiders, so it was also great fun talking politics over order-in Italian dinner! We went to bed kind of late considering the early alarm we set for the next morning.
Finally an account of our January trip to D.C. for the inauguration.
Friday evening we dropped the kids off at Lisa's parent's house and then hit the road.
We spent the night at a hotel (in Ohio) and then continued the journey the next morning.
We planned to spend Saturday and Sunday nights in a hotel (while the rates were still reasonable) and then Monday night with friends. We stayed at the Econo Lodge Metro in Arlington. It's got reasonable prices and quality and is a short walk from a metro stop. After checking in we went to meet some friends for dinner in old Alexandria (Union Street Pub).
Sunday morning we walked to the metro station and road into D.C. Here are a couple of photos of the national mall with the multitude of portajohns and jumbotrons set up.
We tried to find our way to an Indian place for lunch, but Google Maps failed us. We ended up choosing something else for convenience.
Here is a video of Lisa from lunch:
After lunch we walked back to the mall, thinking we might try to see the We Are One concert. As we stood in front of the White House right next to the Washington Monument, several helicopters flew over our heads. One landed on the White House lawn, greeted by a crowd. Later we learned that it was President Bush.
Here is a video of the helicopters:
Here are some photos of the crowds watching the concert via jumbotron at the Washington Monument.
Here is a video of the crowd near the beginning of the concert while Denzel Washington was talking:
surrounded by an endless mosaic of colors...of hats, coats, and skin3:07 PM Jan 18th
Garth Brook's performance, energy, and the way he engaged the crowd was one of the more enjoyable moments of the concert.
As a U2 fan since high school (and someone who bought a U2/MLK Pride (In the Name of Love) t-shirt in Europe in high school and then wrote MLK quotes all over it as a freshman at Lipscomb, the U2 performance was certainly memorable.
Pete Seeger and crew's performance of This Land is Your Land was great…especially since the crowd was singing a long and laughing at the funny parts.
Here is a video of the crowd during Seeger's performance:
After the concert was over, we made our way to a nearby metro stop. After about 30 minutes waiting in line, we were on a train and headed back to the hotel.
Here's a photo of the crowded subway train:
We took a short walk to a restaurant near the hotel for dinner and watched the Eagles lose to the Cardinals. Then we walked back to the hotel and watched the Steelers' game before hitting the sack.
The translators also deliberately used old-fashioned language. At the time they were working on the Bible, words like "thou" and "sayeth" had already gone out of fashion. Some scholars believe that the translators wanted to give the sense that the language in the Bible came from long ago and far away.
I'd be curious to learn what percentage of Christians still rely on the KJV. It must be a dwindling number. Growing up, only the KJV and ASV were accepted at my church. I remember when it was announced that the NKJV and NASB were also acceptable. The NIV was never acceptable. It probably isn't still.
I thought this passage from the November 25, 2006, installment of The Writer's Almanac was very interesting:
It's the birthday of American steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, born in Dunfermline, Scotland (1835). He grew up in Scotland, working as a milk hand for $1.20 per week. But when his family immigrated to America in 1848, Carnegie took a job in a factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He sensed instinctively that education would help him work his way up in the world, but at the time education was hard to come by. There were public libraries then, but they weren't free. People were asked to pay an annual fee to become a library member. Carnegie couldn't afford the annual fee at his local library, so he wrote a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch, arguing that poor young people should be given free access to libraries so that they could improve themselves. The director of Carnegie's local library read the letter, and it persuaded him to change the rule.
With the help of the library, Carnegie began teaching himself how to do all kinds of things, including how to use a telegraph. He got a job as a telegraph operator, and then attracted the notice of an executive with the Pennsylvania Railroad, and became the executive's personal secretary and telegrapher. By 1859, just 11 years after he had arrived in America as a poor factory worker, he was named the Pennsylvania Railroad's vice president. He became an investor, and built a steel empire, and then at the height of his career, he sold his company. The sale made him one of the richest men in the world, but he spent the rest of his life giving his fortune away to charity.
Among his many charitable acts was the construction of almost 3,000 libraries across the country. For every library he funded, he required that the town set aside a certain amount of tax funds to keep it running in perpetuity. He also required that many libraries inscribe phrases like "Free Library" or "Free to the People" over the entrance, so that the libraries would always remain free.