We need more of this, please.
This morning, all the hustle and self-importance of Washington, DC ground to a halt. Worrying about the world’s problems slid to the back burner. North-Korea-healthcare-Syria-taxes-Afghanistan-Trayvon-Martin-GSA-Obama-Romney all just hushed for a minute.
Instead, we looked upward. “Did you see it?” neighbor said to neighbor. “There it is!” squealed office worker to food vendor. Children and the aged, rich and poor, black, white, and other, tourist and local, looked skyward, dropped jaws, and collectively said “Wow.”
The space shuttle Discovery took a well-earned victory lap around the capitol of the nation she served so well. Mounted on a 747 and accompanied by a fighter jet, she soared over the US Capitol, the Washington Monument, up the river over Virginia, down the river over office buildings and homes. She then landed at Dulles Airport on her journey to retirement in the Smithsonian Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center.
Everywhere she went, people pulled over, jumped out of cars, streamed out of office buildings. We pointed to the sky. We snapped pictures. Some of us teared up.
For an hour, we weren’t Democrats or Republicans, Occupiers or Tea Partiers.
We were Americans.
And we were proud.
Thank you, Discovery, for one more great service to your nation.