Sunday, November 25, 2007

from D.C.: patriotic

I’m not that, if patriotism means saying that your country is the best of the best. I don’t even know what that means. Good people, making good decisions? Until the moment when they mess up?

My father once said – I am a citizen of the world. I feel the same loyalty to the planet. And to the community that I live in, wherever that may be. I dislike nationalism (even though I respect tradition). I detest pronouncements of superiority, even as I believe some principles are superior to others.

So basically, I’m not one of those who goes around saying I am proud to be a Pole or an American, even though at times I am proud and at other times I am ashamed of what the governments in either have accomplished.

Still, here I am in D.C., and I haven’t confronted on Ocean the very essence of the city. I have yet to post a single photo of its uniqueness as a nation’s capital. Here, more than anywhere else, you see the progression of governance. The monuments force you into this exercise: think back and remember those who left their mark.

Tonight, I took my camera and strolled among the shadows of the monuments. I circled the Washington Monument, I acknowledged the Capitol. I paused for a longer while at the new to me Monument to World War II, I gave a nod to the Lincoln Memorial and I passed with a deep sigh in front of the White House.

I’m going to post some photos from all this. They nudged me toward giving more than a passing thought to citizenship, government and the country I now call home. Here you go: D.C. monuments, one November evening, through Ocean eyes.

018 copy
child's play

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at the end of the day

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November trees

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people, flags

021 copy
two cyclists, the Capitol

044 copy
Lincoln, ducks