Each time I go to Washington D.C., I am reminded of everything our nation has been through in our relatively short history. I sometimes get overwhelmed with a sense of patriotism when standing in the very locations pivotal to United States history. Seeing our nation’s capital in March, right when the cherry trees are beginning to blossom, was without a doubt one of these moments in my life.
Walking through the Capitol building was incredible! The monuments representing important people were everywhere; some I knew, others I did not. Seeing the statues, murals, and elaborate construction, I thought about the artists, sculptors, and architects. The number of man-hours must have been be countless. I was mesmerized standing in the location where so many vehement debates occurred and our nation was being shaped. The place is definitely enshrined with talent.
Seeing the monuments around D.C. during the night tour was another amazing experience which made me feel an emotional connection with my country. The World War II Memorial is beautiful at night and showcases the light of victory among the shadows of war. At the Lincoln Memorial I reflected on the agony of the Civil War, on the speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. in that spot, and the famous scene from the movie Forrest Gump. Driving along the National Mall, I felt like I was connected to all of the protests, marches, and inauguration ceremonies that have occurred there.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have visited the U.S. Capital. Seeing all the diverse people, the smiling children on school field trips, and having deep, intellectual conversations with my peers, renewed me with hope for the future of our country. I am inspired to apply it within my own life, with the optimism that we will continue to grow as a community, as a nation, and as a world.