I’m Such a Sap

View of the Capitol down Maryland Ave

I took this picture while waiting on the street between my train and shuttle bus. The view was pretty amazing, one of the benefits of working in Washington–occasionally catching view of one of the monuments, memorials or just famous buildings. It’s nice to know that I’ll get a nice view of the Capitol every morning.

I’m a sucker for these kind of things. I don’t think you can do twenty-four years in uniform and not feel a little extra patriotic, no matter where you start. And I started pretty patriotic to begin with.

Sure, sure, I know the current crop of yes-men, sycophants, and influence peddlers aren’t exactly the most shining examples. Obi-Wan’s quote about Mos Eisley seems most appropriate: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” We’re so starved for actual leaders, we go nuts for Clint Eastwood hawking cars with patriotic language.

BUT…but…this building stands for something more than just marble and brick. The embodiment of one-third of the Constitution. The legacy of John Adams, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett. The place where Presidents take the Oath of Office, continuing more than 200 years of peaceful transition of power. The place where FDR said there was “nothing to fear but fear itself” and then, later, described a certain “day of infamy.” These are things the current residents should keep in mind more often.

Maybe they just need to look around when they come in the front door and find this quote by Daniel Webster engraved in the marble:

“Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.”

 

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