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Friday, May 14, 2004

More DC

We ended up skipping the Library of Congress, but did a full tour of the city and went inside the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. L managed not to set off any alarms. It takes the fun out of your visit when they start the tour off warning you not to touch this, not to touch that, and you have a little one in tow. I figured there was about a 50% chance we would end up being escorted out of the building by a federal police officer. The odds ended up being in our favor.

Last night's candlelight vigil didn't move me as I had anticipated. It may have been because I had a wiggly three year old jumping up and down in my lap, but who, in all fairness, was on good behavior for several hours before the actual ceremony began, while we staked out a good spot. John Ashcroft was the keynote speaker and that was certainly worth the price of admission. He gave a canned speech, bobbling the name, several times, of the young officer he claimed to be so impressed with. It sounded as if he had not seen this speech up until the moment he stepped to the podium. He mentioned several times that law enforcement's highest duty is protecting the freedoms and liberties of Americans. Excuse me? Mr. PATRIOT Act?

You can fool some of the people some of the time...

On the other hand, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, who was given the Distinguished Service Award for his work in getting a bill almost passed allowing officers to carry firearms between states without concealed weapons permits, (one unnamed senator stands between it becoming a law) gave a very well-spoken, seemingly extemporaneous speech.

We found Todd in the crowd, in full honor guard dress. I took a few pictures, one really good one of the candles being held up with a laserlight 'thin blue line' beaming above, and one that I wished had come out better, of Bryant's wreath and photo that his mom had made and sent up, but the flash kept throwing a glare on the photo and I would've needed my tripod to shoot it without the flash. The girls made a rubbing of Bryant's name on the memorial and L received a plastic bobby hat from an officer who was attending from London.

Today: the Capitol building, Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, the National Archives, plus whatever else pops up. Tonight there is a parade to the memorial by the various police bagpipe bands in town. If I am lucky, I might get my parents to watch the kids tonight so that G and I can enjoy a serious culinary experience.

Tomorrow: the Smithsonian complex. Also, Bush is scheduled to give his annual sound bite outside the Capitol for Law Enforcement Week. If we can't get in, or close, it will be enough to watch the motorcade come flying by.

How much do I like this place? Well, it's been added to my list of places to live. It would definitely have to be in town though, ideally a house around Georgetown, but realistically, a condo downtown would do. How great would that be to homeschool with an endless supply of museums, government buildings, memorials, and history being made all around you?

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