By Jess Lynk
The previous election cycle’s temperature definitely got above 98.8. It was heated and left many Americans sick of politics, myself included.
After countless negative ads, heated debates and shallow attacks from both sides of the aisle, people are fed up with the American government. A lot of people are wondering, where do we go from here? Today, I discovered a wonderful starting point.
As we headed onto our bus, we discovered that we got lucky with the best tour guide in all of D.C. Judy, our snarky, Iowa-fanatic of a tour guide, showed us the monuments dedicated to a variety of events in people. We followed her, and her red umbrella, all day through Iwo Jima Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
I walked down the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and felt the weight of the war tower over me as the list of names got larger and larger. I could see a glimpse into the impact that the war had on this country. But I felt moved because our country has since moved forward.
As we climbed up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, you could just feel the power of the monument. As I got to the top, I looked out and saw the reflecting pool and the Washington monument. It is hard not to feel patriotic looking out at this view.
As I began to reflect on my day spent at the memorials, I remembered that our country has been through tough times. We have fought wars, completely fell apart and been drastically separated.
Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking out at the same view I saw today. He said his famous words “I have a dream” to a country that didn’t fully accept him. He has invoked so much change in our country, but there is still room for more. People may be feeling hurt, lost or confused, but our country has always evolved past hard and hateful times.
So, if you are looking to find a glimmer of hope in all the hatred this past election instilled, come to our nation’s capital and follow a tour guide holding a red umbrella.