I am heading to Washington, DC to take part in the pageantry surrounding the transfer of power that will occur on Wednesday.
Inauguration 2021: Why I Am Going
I asked someone very powerful to help get me in and he said, “Unfortunately not…Best viewing place now is on the couch in front of an HD TV!”
Thanks Sherlock. Nice to know where I stand, though I harbor no illusions of grandeur. Nevertheless, I decided to move forward with the trip.
Yes, I’m going for curiosity. After all, I lived in the District and studied 19th century U.S. history in my undergraduate years. The security in place in DC right has been associated with the Green Zone in Iraq, but perhaps a more apt analogy is to DC itself…during the U.S. Civil War.
This is history. I want to see it, photograph it, and share my experience with you.
Yes, a small part of me hopes that I’ll be able to see it live. But you can bet I’m not going to be pulling any tricks this year…
I value tradition in so many ways and my tradition, going back to the picture above from 2005, is to attend presidential inaugurations. Whether Democrat or Republican, the inauguration ceremony is the great public testimony to the smooth transfer of power in the United States. I view it as my civic duty to take part in this tradition that occurs on January 20th every four years.
But this year isn’t like other years. You might reasonably ask if my greater civic duty is to stay home. I’ll tell you why I do not think that way. The faux-patriots seditionists who breached the Capitol earlier this month have prevailed in the sense that DC truly does resemble a war zone right. The public has been asked to stay away.
I’m ignoring that request not because I’m above the rules, but because I believe the impenetrable chain link fences with barbed wires sends precisely the wrong message, namely that America is a basket case beyond redemption.
That may be the case; it is something I must at least acknowledge. But I love this country (in a healthy, pragmatic way) and pray that its best days are yet ahead. America loses her character when the public is barred from taking part in what should be a day of jubilation, no matter your partisan outlook.
This isn’t about COVID-19 because distancing outdoors with masks along the National Mall minimizes concerns about catching or spreading the virus. Speaking personally, my attendance takes on special meaning this year precisely because this country has been decimated by sickness and by division. One way healing begins is by unifying as a nation to observe this historic event.
So I’m flying to DC and will be reporting on all that I observe.
And hey, if you know of someone who can get me over the barbed wire, please feel reach out…