Wednesday, September 19, 2012


We hailed a cab in front of our hotel. We're staying downtown, so cab rides aren't too long or too expensive. Our goal today, walk the National Mall and take in the National Monuments. Unabashedly touristy.

Martin Luther King, Jr Monument, please.
Oh, that's my favorite. You will love it!

His joy was immediately evident and as with every cab ride, my parents asked the driver where he was from. His name is Abdul, he immigrated from Ethiopia in 1979. 

We quickly bonded over the next eight minutes, sharing immigration stories, learning a bit of history (about FDR, his favorite president) and discovering his impressions of the MLK, Jr monument. 

You will get tears. You will see his statue. You will see his words. You will get tears. He was for all people. He was for us all. 

I almost got tears in his cab.

We learned that Abdul loves DC. It's the best city. You are somebody here. As an immigrant, he talked about feeling invisible in New York and after spending five years there, he moved to DC. He's been raising a family here ever since. I love my job, because I love people. 

He gave us some advice as he dropped us off. 
Walk slowly. As you descend into the monument, read his words... you will feel his spirit. 

We spent a while reading, reflecting and taking it all in. Eventually, we moved on to Jefferson's Memorial, Roosevelt's Memorial, Lincoln's Memorial, World War II Memorial, and Washington Monument. 

Later, as we stepped up to the base of the Washington Monument, energized by the sheer grandeur of the thing, my dad blurted "I have a dream..." 


Noemi Vega said...


Teri said...

If I was to tour DC with any family other than my own...

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