9:19 PM, Thursday, September 22nd, 2005:
Boy did that feeling hit me today. This was the right thing to do. It's crazy to take this much time off work, it's a fortune in terms of money lost, it will deplete a chunk of my savings - but you know what, I'll live. I can do it. I believe in this and I want to give this every ounce of support I can muster. When I found Camp Casey today and talked to them, everyone seem genuinely thankful that I made the trip all the way from Los Angeles just for this. It all started to sink in. By the end of the day I knew wholeheartedly - this was the right move.
However it did occur to me that spending the day in D.C. could provide little in the way of good reading material. Talk about "It's all been done before". What, do I take pictures of the capitol building, washington monument? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. If I can't do it different than what you've seen before, I just can't get my heart into it. So I walk up to the White House and what to my surprise? There's a big-ass button in front of the gate. You guys ever seen this?
A big, ass, button. I think I lasted about 3.7 seconds before I had to push this button. Watch the end of the video to figure out what happened. But seriously, how has no one ever said anything about this before. Strange.
So as to be expected, lots of tourists around taking pictures. I have to admit, I look at the people from other countries and do feel bad. Other countries don't pull punches. Their media across the board paints Iraq and Katrina in the light it deserves, and I'm almost amazed there is much of an international tourism industry these days. But alas, many lined up to get a picture with the ol' white house. I did hear this guy say:  "...and I voted for the bastard..." as I walked by which made me smirk.
Now I've been to DC before so I wasn't as enamored with the sites. And really, it's amazing what it feels like when you're literally embarrassed by the current administration. The normal symbols don't ring as true. It is still nicely laid out and inspiring.
...I mean - that's cool. Especially cool as a military man walked up the steps right in the shot as I filmed in the video. Even marched in time with the music. Word. Of course behind me is probably the best monument in all of DC:
Leave it to me however to notice that Lincoln straight up has a statue booger like nobody's business...
It looks almost planted you know? So funny. Haven't the slightest idea what that is.
Didn't check out much more than the big monuments, as I'll be down all day on Saturday. I was however able to find one my dad's friends on the Vietnam memorial. Christ that's incredibly depressing. What have we learned in 30 years man... Whew.
I actually stumbled upon Camp Casey. Casey is Cindy Sheehan's son who died last year (04.04.04 strangely enough) in Iraq and is the reason behind this whole cross country tour. I'm sure you've heard all about her on the news pre-Katrina. I actually hung out with them for awhile. Donated some money, got a shirt and some buttons for Saturday. Helped them put up some signs in the tent and was actually the first person to sign the final "Where have you come from" country tarp that everyone signs at every stop.
Yeah, had to throw the .com in there. Why the hell not. LOL. Anyway, there will definitely be more about all of them this Saturday but suffice to say, I realized very quickly that I had done the right thing. The majority of these people were veterans, families of veterans and their message is just a desperate plea for sanity. Hell I took off a couple weeks, many of these people took off several months and have given every second of their day to raise awareness for this. Basically, it's time folks. It's time to start the process of ending this. There is absolutely no more justifications, they've all been proven wrong. Stop the posturing and finger blaming and SAVE LIVES. There will be 20,000 people saying just that Saturday and it's a start. This is how it happens. In time the numbers grow, they effect poll numbers, they change minds. We've more than proven that we can't handle our own shit at home, the last thing we can do is solve the world's supposed problems.
Bring them home alive.
PS - the dude in the video was this old vet who had written a poem about things. Thought it was a good way to tie in the sights from the day. I'll try to get his name tomorrow to give him credit.