MLK Day and Inaugural Jams

Monday, January 19, 2009

'Happy Birthday, Dr. King, and Happy MLK Day to all of you! Even though it's Monday it still feels like the weekend because of the energy that continues to swirl around this great week! This morning I'm heading out to the MLK Library to volunteer to serve and distribute food in the 22nd Annual We Feed Our People event. When I initially signed up I wasn't aware of how large this effort was. My intent was to take my full heart and serve as many people as possible, ranging from homeless veterans to families struggling in these difficult economic times. It was only yesterday when I read that there will be also be a pre-event rally held by Martin Luther King Jr, III, David Arquette, Herbie Hancock and Josh Groban :) That promises to be an added treat for all in attendance, so if any of you will be in the D.C area please feel free to stop by the MLK Library on 9th and G NW around 12 p.m with any non-perishable food items to donate to the Capitol Area Food Bank.

Yesterday, though, was a time I--and the millions of others across the country--won't soon forget. In the wee hours of the morning I joined my friend and her mother as we headed downtown for the free concert that was kicking off the Inauguration. Amazing and surreal are the first words to come to mind. We solidified a nice patch of grass for ourselves and had a great view of three jumbotrons to enjoy the ceremony. What was beautiful was that even with this unbelieveably massive crowd, everyone was so accommodating and polite, and D.C did a beautiful job executing this event without a hitch. You could turn to anyone and they would offer a smile or a friendly conversation about what brought them here or how big this moment is for them. I seriously had a moment where I couldn't believe I was given the opportunity to be here, in this city, experiencing this moment with others that is so much greater than anything I've been apart of. I called my family back in MN and kept my mom on the phone so she could hear some of the performances and share the experience (I think CNN wasn't showing the performances, only some of the speeches). When U2 came on I kind of lost my mind because I heart U2 forever! But Barack drew the most breaths. Through his entire campaign I was not able to attend any of the venues where he was speaking, so this was beyond exciting.

I'm running out the door now so I'll post the pics from both events when I get back!

All back from the MLK Day event and it was great! Things started off a bit chaotic because there were more volunteers than work for us to do, but the event organizers were great about rotating shifts and delegating duties. It was a far bigger event than I had realized, but so much fun and again people carried their bright spirits out in the open. I met an amazing group of friends who ended up "adopting" me as a new addition. They had come from NY and MN and parts of DC to celebrate the inaugural weekend together, but they're big activists and were equally as excited as everyone else to be apart of the We Feed Our People event. You know, I left my camera at home because I thought my hands would be too full with work to carry it, but that wasn't the case at all. I should have brought it because there were so many media outlets interviewing people, an un-named youth marching band came through with pure fire and energized the crowd, Josh Groban (who had all the 40-year old women swooning) performed, and while I was serving food, MLK Jr. III was in the background on stage giving a fiery speech to the crowd.
I love D.C.

Pics from the concert at Lincoln Memorial...


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