We came with the sun.
It seemed appropriate to me that we streamed between these two moorings on the National Mall, as if signposts of American history, the sufferings and triumphs, the oppressions and the liberations, channeled our march -- but it was the flowing of American humanity that channeled history. You couldn't look anywhere without seeing this history on the Mall. There was the White House, built, as Michelle Obama had reminded us, in large part with slave labor. There was the nearby corner where slaves had been sold even as the founding fathers indited those words of democracy since chiseled into memorial stones. Where this new museum now stands, thousands upon thousands had once marched across the lawn, for Civil Rights in 1963, to end a war in 1970. This ground had been fought over and died for. The line a third of the way up the Washington Monument shows where construction had been halted for a time, a seeming reminder of our halting steps towards the promise of our Constitution. Douglass had walked here, and Whitman. And how many times have we walked here?
Today was a time of remembrance, and of revelation. And in the end, of revels. In the words of Ed Roberson, we have entered the new wing of the labyrinth.
Ring them bells Sweet Martha for the poor man's son
Ring them bells so the world will know that God is one
Oh the shepherd is asleep
Where the willows weep
And the mountains are filled with lost sheep
Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf
Ring them bells for all of us who are left
Ring them bells for the chosen few
Who will judge the many when the game is through
Ring them bells for the time that flies
For the child that cries
When innocence dies.