I don't even know where to begin. I am exhausted, and tired and I haven't gone to bed yet. I took a boat load of pictures, and some aren't as great as I would like--- but the day was amazing. My voice is shot. This was great day for America -- even for the Tea Partiers who, despite their claims that 'freedom was being taken away' -- they were allowed to exercise it -- without having to be in a 'Free Speech Zone" (and, without, as I learned -- a permit for a protest.)
When we arrived at around 3 this afternoon, the Tea Partiers were in full swing. It was even more jarring to see this spectacle in real time than I thought it would be. The anger was amazing. At first we decided to stay away and just walk around for a bit. Here is a sample of what we saw:
We walked on past to the front the Capitol Building, where we came across a few nice folks praying.
Now seriously -- please take a closer look. They were praying (bless their hearts) and we REALLY saw a crack in their foundation of faith:
It was around this point, we ran into a few Europeans who were astonished -- ok laughing their asses off when I pointed this issue out. We all agreed, when you come to a protest--- wear pants that fit (or pray downhill)
We decided to go stand with a very nice group of people... Catholics for Healthcare, and they gave us have a sign to hold:
Bob was kind enough to hold the sign for the day. Right near where we were standing at that time, I was able to take a picture of this:
Those are pictures and biographies of people we have lost because they did not have coverage. Even more touching to me, was this:
That young man will never be denied health coverage for a pre-existing condition. I don't think he knew that today. He may not know it now. I suspect he is getting up and going to school this morning.
I got a chance to talk to this man:
That's Representative John Dingell, instrumental in giving America medicare. He thanked all those who fought to get this done.
There were a good many representaives that we could not recall names. Here is one good soul who took the time to thank us:
Here is another, she actually asked if she could take a few signs with her.
When asked why, she said she would use them. She wanted to show her support to Health Care Reform activists. She did. I know this is fuzzy stuff, but trust me... activism works. These are our United States of America Representatives holding the same signs that we did, from the balcony of the House. (and thru it all, the tea baggers were shouting, "Kill the Bill" )
Around this time, things got kinda fun. You see, today was ALSO the day when People came to Washington to call for immigration reform. We had a chance to look over the National Mall from the Capitol Building. The picture doesn't do justice to what we saw. There were hundreds of thousands of people.:
And then they marched... Thousands of people of all colors and backgrounds marched. They marched RIGHT past the Tea Party (almost through), chanting "Sí se Puede" We cheered these wonderful people along... most of them Union Members and labor rights activists.
After marching, SEIU came and cheered on Health Care Reform:
I am proud to say my Mom was a member of SEIU.
As the afternoon drifted into evening and beyond, we had the chance to see more amazing people. I couldn't get everyone... we were busy shaking hands and giving hugs. You see our Dems are by and large good people. I will post more on this Thursday -- But let me leave you with the wonderfulness that was this Sunday:
Bob in the Viper Pit --
Jesse Jackson (seriously, that is Jesse, not waldo)
Jesse Jackson Jr.
Two Heroes in my book. John Lewis and Anthony Weiner.:
WE had a chance to talk to him after this photo. He is gracious, humble and righteous.
This was my second favorite photo:
Here is the favorite photo all day: Yes We Did.
We really did. Bob and I got to sit in the House Gallery this evening. We were there the night history was made.
did. This is what hope does, it brings change. It's the very nature of Hope.