Today was the day I learned that we are not alone in our commitment to finding a nonviolent solution to our country's concerns about Iran. Not only did I find my old activist buddy, StartLoving (formerly known as Jay), in front of the Capitol mounting his own vigil and entering his second day of a hunger strike, but our signs were worded almost exactly the same! I'd known StartLoving during my solitary vigil for Lebanon in July and August 2006. At that time he was in the middle of a hunger strike for Darfur. He always offered me support and a smiling face during those brutally hot 18 days I spent in front of the White House entering into nonviolent dialogue about the Israel/Lebanon war with persons from around the world. And here we are again, this time vigiling for the very same purpose!
As if meeting StartLoving wasn't enough of a boost, Jan Pendlebury of Peace Action of New Hampshire and the NH chapter of the National Environmental Trust stopped to thank me for mounting this vigil and ended up standing with me and even holding my sign on two different occasions during the afternoon. It was great to have a sister at my side, especially since today's weather was not too conducive for outdoor vigils. It rained off and on--mostly on--all day. I was grateful for every bit of raingear I had with me, including my plastic poncho, a black plastic bag to cover my scooter's control panel and basket--where my camera was housed--and an umbrella. But I've learned that mounting a vigil under difficult weather conditions can touch people more than if you do it on a lovely day. Your commitment is out there for all to see.
However, I was happy that the rain had stopped by the time I'd taken a wonderfully welcome hot shower back at the hotel and changed into dry clothes. It meant I could eat a yummy veggie burger and delicious hot cheese soup at my favorite outdoor cafe. And then I could scoot around taking photos. During my scoot I met David, Jamie and their little boy, Nathan. They had driven in from West Virginia for a peace march commemorating 9/11, but had had to miss it because they couldn't find parking they could afford! But we did find one another, and it was wonderful to meet two more people who share our hunger for peace. I think there are more of us out there than we realize.
This city, Washington, DC, has deep meaning to me. I was born here and am a fifth generation Washingtonian on my father's side. Thomas Carberry, the first mayor of Washington, DC, is one of my ancestors. Everywhere I look there are memories of my childhood and family. When I scooted by the Willard Hotel today, I remembered my grandfather had worked there at one time in his life. The National Theater brings back memories of all the plays my parents took us to see, including "Auntie Mame" with Carol Channing, and "West Side Story" on its pre-Broadway run in 1958. So you see, coming to DC is like coming home for me. I'm sure that's why I feel comfortable mounting a vigil here by myself.
I've added today's photos to my Iranian Peace Vigil photo gallery. CLICK HERE to see them.