we took a zany family train trip from chicago to washington, d.c. a few years ago, arriving (despite our disheveled appearances from a very long journey on amtrak) a temple to the glory days of transportation. i remember envisioning past generations of fedora & cloche donned americans crowding all aboard trains bound for washington d.c. and yesterday, with cnn broadcasting the inauguration, i remembered that grand union station as proud gateway to the nations capitol.
the whole inaugural weekend gives me goosebumps, as the combination of pomp, revelry, tradition, patriotism and celebration whirl past and present together amid the iconic and majestic backdrops of the capitol building, the washington monument, the mall, the white house. the unchanging facades of that great white city stand firm, while styles, faces, dress lengths, tie widths and popular culture evolve.
while munching on homemade apple pie, somberly aware of the fact that yesterday was martin luther king, jr, day, i watched moments of the march towards the oath of office, a scene i’ve viewed on countless televisions my whole life long. the gladness of spirit, the call to civic equality, the decades of history flying past us all as one man spoke and millions stood reverently where millions have stood before them.
i’m a sucker for pageantry, but also for humanity. i like what i heard, my heart beat faster and my hope soared with pride as our country dusted itself off, once again, and put on the kind of show that, i’m certain, our forefathers would have been proud of.