Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mr. Spitz Goes to Washington

Joe recently spent a few days in Washington D.C. for a conference and enjoyed some sightseeing time.

Here are some of his recollections:

On his nighttime automobile tour, my friend and business colleague in the Intercept Technology Group, Keith Donaldson, who has spent many air miles in his world travels, commented: “We have a capital in this country that we can all be proud of; it is a beautiful city - I can’t think of a more beautiful capital anywhere else in this world.” Keith’s tour brought us first to the front of the Capitol Building, awash in light, accenting the strength and beauty of the building. We traveled between the Supreme Court and the Capitol, near the White House, by the Ford Theater and the home where Lincoln died; around the Washington and Lincoln Monuments, then to Keith’s favorite, the Jefferson Memorial. Keith is right, at night or any time, our nation’s Capital is an architectural and historical marvel.

The next morning I had breakfast in the Rayburn building’s cafeteria, the House of Representatives' offices. I was thinking I might see a legislative celebrity but instead viewed vibrant young people buzzing about with coffee cups in their hands. Security is everywhere and all entrances to all government buildings require scans; so the “bad guys” get us on that one. What the heck; it is better to be safe at the expense of that small loss of freedom.

My own walking tour led me across the street to the Capitol and Library of Congress. E Pluribus Unum - one from many; what a grand experiment this country is. What a storied history filled with courageous heroes, many making extreme sacrifices in their duty to our country. Speaking of which, why doesn’t our great patriot John Adams from Braintree, Massachusetts, merit statues or memorials in his honor in Washington D.C.? Besides George, is there any greater person that influenced the independence of and the framework to our United States? A Sam Adams statue represents MA in the Capitol; good beer, valuable instigator, but his cousin John was the man.

The Library of Congress has the prettiest rotunda I have seen, on a level with the amazing Vatican Map Room and Sistine Chapel. The Library of Congress houses Jefferson’s books; an extensive collection from a well read man.

Prior to World War I, societies were governed by kings, queens, emperors, religious leaders, etc. and a compassionate one versus a selfish one depended on the times and the integrity of the generational leader. Whether or not they were good leaders didn’t matter as much as that this form of governance offered continued stability for its people.

In contrast, standing in front of words on parchment representing the ideas that are the basis of our government and security is quite moving. The National Archives has on display, along with many other important documents, The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, and The Constitution of the United States for all citizens and visitors to view. There are many school groups touring Washington and in the “Charters of Freedom” rotunda there is a hush among visitors as they view the founding documents of these United States. If you haven’t experienced this lately (or ever), make the journey. You’ll have a newly refreshed appreciation of our country and its history.

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