America, Countries, Culture

Inauguration and US Precedence

Or when they sealed off the National Mall for me.

You know you’ve arrived when they do that for you, believe me.

And that is exactly what they did when I visited DC as a guest of the American Travel Fair, IPW.

The 47th President of America: In Washington DC

The National Mall, for those of you watching the inauguration of President Joe Biden today, is the grassy stretch of land from  the Washington Monument to the domed US Capitol.

The White House is to the north.

And flanked by all of this are the magnificent Smithsonian museums.

King for a day

US Capitol and Reflecting Pool, Washington DC

Out on that balmy May evening in Washington we were given the run of the place.

And we were treated to Aloe Blacc singing for us on stage, we were given a reception in the National Air and Space Museum.

Honest Jim and Honest Abe in Washington

The Reflecting Pool which many of you will know from Forrest Gump is the artery from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial.

And, of course, it was the backdrop for Dr Martin Luther King.

I have a dream: The unfinished Martin Luther King statue in Washington DC

And the climax to the Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963 when he delivered his I Have A Dream speech.

Today Joe Biden spoke of unity from a platform in front of the heavily fortified US Capitol.

It is the very same seat of government that was besieged two weeks before.

Civil War memories

Ne-Yo in Washington

Only this year was different.

With Covid and the security threat since the Storming of the Capitol meaning it was a completely different audience.

Only dignitaries, soldiers and the symbolic flags of the 400,000 casualties of the virus in the eye line.

Much has been said about America and the times we are living through.

And President Biden is an eloquent man in his own right and has a team of speech writers to finesse his sentiments.

American hero: In Washington DC

The circumstances of this inauguration and the militarised zone have been likened to the Civil War.

And that naturally conjures up the spirit of Abraham Lincoln.

With malice toward none

View of Washington from Arlington

Lincoln has been channeled regularly by his successors who wish to establish their line to the Great Man.

Few have done him credit.

Only time will tell if President Biden will be able to fulfil the lasting mission of Lincoln.

But the challenge for him and any President is to honour the pledge given on Saturday, March 4, 1865…

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds,

 

 

 

 

 

 

America, Countries, Ireland, Music, UK

Rainy days and Songdays – Aloe Washington

And if you share with me your dollar I will share my story with you – Aloe Blacc

Cheap at the price too.

Aloe Black has been omnipresent across my American Travel fares.

The cool dude in the pork pie hat was there to greet us on the National Mall in Washington DC on our evening and sing us his standard I Need A Dollar.

We’re down there somewhere… on the National Mall

Only the best for us as they closed it off for the IPW international delegation to parteeee.

And how we did inside the Smithsonian National Space and Air Museum.

So much so, and I blame my old friend Michael from Irish Travel Trade Network for leading me astray, that we all but missed the act.

I’m flyin’ high: The National Space and Air Museum

Thankfully Aloe was back to wow us with another set at one of the lunches between our hall meetings with the states.

And busy boy that he is he had also managed to compose a video and the power of music.

Which he had put together on a whistlestop tour of the US and which the IPW fare in Washington showed us on the big screen.

Aloe there

Great idea and great memories and they all came flooding back as I listened to BBC Radio 2 last week.

Who were featuring him as their artist of the week.

An uplifting message in these times and as Aloe would say and indeed sang to us in Washington… Wake Me Up When It’s All Over.