When I traveled to Honduras last fall, many people asked me about DC and NYC. This got me curious, how people from outside the States were excited to have visited, of all places, Washington DC. So, when Chris got his summer internship with the NSA we planned a trip there for Michael and I. Our Pastor Ron, connected us with rather interesting housing (we stayed at Steve Largent, former NFL star and Senator)so we only had to cover the flight expenses.
Last weekend we traveled to DC. It was wonderful to visit with him, to hear about his summer adventure and learnings and to get to hang out with his Rice "family" two of which, Patrick and Evangeline, are also in DC for the summer, and Allison who was visiting for the weekend. The trip to DC was very powerful. I haven't been before, to my knowledge- though my parents took us lots of places when I was tiny. And, if I am honest, I have often struggled with the concept of patriotism. My God sees no borders, no race. I was raised on the West Coast, where most our American history was in books, unless we were panning for gold. Sadly, much of my American history came from Johnny Tremain and an exhibit with Lincoln at Disneyland.
I come away from the trip with a much deeper understanding and respect for the leadership which formed our country, for the courage, the energy, the life that went in to so many decisions, with a much greater sense of how a person can make a difference and how making a difference matters in the quality of life, we lead. I realize now, sadly, how my freedom, bought with blood and heart ache has contributed to my ignorance. I genuinely think that this trip should be a required vigil for Americans.
"Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments oJefferson Memorialr burthens . . . are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion . . . No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively." -- quote from the Jefferson memorial
** photos from facebook- hope to replace long term with the full sized images