Thursday, January 22, 2009

Two million friends in Washington






We lived 11 years in the Washington, D.C., area. I worked as a journalist and Dee worked as a social worker. The city is a remarkable place to see art and history, most of it free. But it sometimes was not the friendliest place. White and African-American cultures often seemed to look past one another in daily life and commerce, each barely acknowledging the presence of the other.
Not the past few days, though, when Barack Obama assumed office and everyone on and around the National Mall was smiling and happy and friendly. I can't speak for the black people who were there to celebrate the first African-American president, but I can tell you that the ones we saw and talked with were happy, cheering and teary. And so were the white, Asian and other people in the crush of freezing Americans who gathered Sunday for a free concert at the Lincoln Memorial and Tuesday to witness Obama's swearing-in.
Here are a few photographs from the happy - and we hope auspicious - beginning of what is likely to be a difficult four years.
The two women giving the thumbs-up to the camera are Dee and our friend Julie Doyle, who traveled to D.C. with us.
(Our thanks to potter friend Lorraine Colson, who put us up, taxied us to and from the Metro station, and fed us. We promised her we wouldn't tell the world that she runs the best bed-and-breakfast in Northern Virginia. So we won't.)

10 comments:

tsbroome said...

These pictures give me such a feeling of joy to see everyone so happy and at peace! You were so lucky to be there.

doug fitch said...

Amazing

mengley said...

Who's the eskimo in the red gloves? :) I love that you made it down there for the inauguration. Wish we could have been with you.

Hollis Engley said...

Thanks, guys. It was a wonderful day. Now, the hard work begins. And yes, Marcus, you're related to the red-gloved one.

Ron said...

I got chills just from watching it on the television. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be there in person. Great photos.

Hollis Engley said...

It was pretty cool, Ron. One really, really, really big happy family.

Hannah said...

I listened to it on the radio and even over here I couldn't sit still. It is incredibly exciting but what a job he's taken on. I wish him all the luck in the world. He's certainly made people sit up and take notice.

Hollis Engley said...

A lot of people around the world are excited at the possibilities. He's a very capable guy, serious about his work. And he has a brain! Imagine that!

EJA said...

Grrrrrr!

That is all ...

Hollis Engley said...

Interesting reaction, EJA. Is that a Republican response? Or ... ????
Or is that my grandmother, Edna J. Andrews, responding from the beyond?