By Graham Glover –
My wife and I recently took our children to our nation’s capital. It was a fantastic trip and I hope that our kids will one day love Washington, D.C. as much as we do. The city is, without question, our favorite place to visit (besides, of course, our hometown of Gainesville, Florida). If I have any say in the matter, we’ll find ourselves living there someday (in what capacity and for how long, who knows…).
From the memorials to the museums, the White House to the Capitol, Georgetown, Arlington, as well as one of my favorite cigar shops, Washington, D.C. shines. It is an incredible site to see and every time I visit – for pleasure or work – I find myself in awe, trying to come up with a reason to return as soon as possible.
Some claim that the city is a cesspool of everything that is wrong with America, that our politicians and lobbyists, to say nothing of the thousands of active and retired federal bureaucrats, make Washington, D.C. a most unattractive place to live and work. It is a morally bankrupt city they say, emblematic of the corruption that plagues our politics. While I don’t take complete exception to these characterizations, I think the magnificence of the city, along with the very heart of what it represents, far outshines any blemishes some of its inhabitants may possess.
As we toured the United States Capitol and walked by the White House and Supreme Court last week, I couldn’t help but note how great our country truly is. You may not be the biggest fan of some who occupy these buildings. You may vote and perhaps work for others to take office in these temples of our republic next fall. But no matter who roams their halls, becomes the commander-in-chief, or dons the robes of our highest court, I continue to have full faith and trust in the enduring strength of our Constitution and governing institutions.
Our republic isn’t perfect. Parts of our past should give pause to anyone who loves freedom. Those who have and continue to rule our land are far from examples of righteousness. Much of our culture is scarred with sin, some of it condoned by the very institutions which I extol. But the United States, beginning with its capital city, is the greatest (political) thing the world has going. No other country compares. No other government holds a candle to the flame of freedom that America represents. Nobody else carries the torch of liberty, not only for its inhabitants, but for millions of others around the globe. We are, as I’ve said before, the lone and enduring superpower for the world. This is a reality that is indisputable.
This reality was on full display as we walked from Thomas Jefferson’s memorial to Franklin Roosevelt’s. It stood tall at Martin Luther King’s and in full majesty at Lincoln’s. It is a beacon of light to the sky at Washington’s. It is a reality that is not just about a few men who accomplished greatness, but a reality that was bought with the blood of thousands of patriots. How can one not see this at the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam memorials? If these memorials can’t move the soul, a trip to Arlington National Cemetery will forever remind anyone about why America is great. Walking these sacred grounds, I was sure to take my children to Section 60, the place where our nation’s warriors and my comrades in arms, who have fought against tyranny for the past 14 years, now lie in rest. These brave men and women are the very reason the radicalism of our current enemies will never infiltrate our republic.
These are perilous times in our nation’s history. We remain at war against an enemy that will never surrender and never accept the inalienable rights that our founders forever enshrined in our republic. Our economy, while sound, remains fragile. Our politics are as polemical as ever and will undoubtedly get worse in the months ahead.
But my fellow Americans, these times will pass. Our cause of freedom will, somehow, someway, win the day. Our economy, with certain bumps yet to come, will endure. Our politics, even if they get worse, will find a way to work.
These things will happen because we are Americans, with a history, a Constitution, and a government that ensures such things ultimately come to pass. And if you ever doubt this, or ever think our country is on the verge of failure, just take a trip to our capital. For in this great city you will see for yourself why each of us should continue to have faith in our republic.
To the glory of Washington!