We worked our way down the National Mall, after stops at the Capitol and the Supreme Court. As we got closer, the crowds grew thicker, and happier. The entrepreneurship was incredible. There were Obama tee-shirts, hats, calendars, posters, scaarves, buttons, bookmarks, even earrings. I wondered: what must Obama think of all this hawking? We circled around the Washington Monument, and I recalled how many times I’ve been to DC for demonstrations. I demonstrated during the Reagan/Bush era (at a tender young age), yes, the Clinton era, and of course, the Bush 2 era. In fact, to demonstrate against something is the ONLY reason I have ever been to DC. It’s about time I came for something positive!
We wanted to get as close as possible to the concert at the Lincoln Memorial, but didn’t want to sit there for hours trapped inside the checkpoints, cold and without food, so we decided to backtrack a bit and find a restaurant. Edward, with his usual instincts for fine cuisine, found us a nice French cafe and we had lunch while several self-important Washington lawyers pow-wowed at the table next to us.
Back at the concert site, we sang the national anthem, and listened to some great musicians, particularly Springsteen. As I watched him belting it out, with a gospel choir backing him up, I practically cried, thinking of how tirelessly he had campaigned for Obama. Most of the musicians were great, especially Mary K. Blige and the inimitable, inspiring Pete Seeger, who led a mass rendition of This Land Is Your Land. (I didn’t really care for the parade of actor celebrities). Even more interesting were the people in the crowd surrounding us, so full of exuberance. Note the elegantly dressed women in the photos. I could tell from just looking at them that they weren’t the type who would ordinarily come to concerts or demonstrations or mass events. But this was different! They were crying!