An American Capital

My new house has been cleaned, drilled, decorated, and filled. When the Stone clan moves a child it is very reminiscent of one of those intense home design shows where people attack a space and it emerges totally transformed two days later. We do not do the gradual move-in plan, instead opting for box carrying brigades, multiple trips to Home Depot, and quick decisions on design and layout. But the result is that two days after arriving it looks rather like a home. I promise to get pictures up soon.

After our blitzkrieg of my house, we took two days to sightsee before my parents headed back to Kentucky. Washington D.C. is an interesting capital because unlike other countries where the capital is just the biggest or most important city, America picked a totally unimportant place and forced it into prominence by making it the seat of our government.  Instead of castles, theatres, and churches built over hundreds of years, we have monuments that speak of the things that have happened all across America.  It is a shrine to American greatness more than a site of it occurring.

It seems like everyone is blaming Washington these days for every ill that faces America. Even the president and congress, not to mention every GOP candidate consistently comment on how the problem with America is Washington. But I’m not so sure. As we toured the Capitol building and wandered through the museums on Saturday, I started thinking that this city reflects so much of what is right in the city. The national museums are free because in theory they belong to all of us. We let people walk on the grass, enter the Capitol freely and unannounced because this is our city. As I walked through the Capitol itself, I was struck by how the entire building is a testament, not to a government on the brink of collapsing because it can’t balance its budget, but to one founded on liberty and freedom, the best of western thought and tradition and history.  Even the fact that the President isn’t allowed to step into the Capitol building unless invited touched me. Everything about our capital points to America establishing itself as a new nation, aware of her European roots and traditions, but wanting to establish herself as a different entity, and a great one.

So even though I now live in a city that has mandatory recycling and fines for discarding cans, gluten free booths at the major league ball park, exceedingly overpriced groceries, and endless waiting at the very inefficient metro, I am proud to be here.

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3 Responses to An American Capital

  1. brakethrough says:

    I really love your ability to find the silver lining in, what seems to be, everything. It’s so refreshing to read. Yes, I may be partial to Washington, D.C. because of my roots. Regardless, I love your positivity. In a world where there is relentless criticism and cynicism, you’re words are a nice break from that. Besides American, I’d say you make most people proud to just ‘be’.

    Thank you for that, Hannah K. Stone.

  2. TINA PUGEL says:

    I truly hope you are planning to write a book someday! btw… I read the Book Thief based on your thoughts about it. I am still processing how to feel. It was written in an incredible way with Death as an actual character and observer of human life. I am very glad Liesel did not die until she had lived a full life. I wonder if she married Max? Anyway, thanks for the book recommendation. Now that I’m finished with my master’s degree, I have more time to read what I want!

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