This morning was pretty cool. We woke up early, jumped on the Yellow Line and headed towards the Capitol to stand in a crowd of over 50,000 people while Pope Francis made his historic address to Congress.
I’ll be posting a vlog on Saturday but wanted to share a few highlights here on the blog today.
I was nervous that the trains would be packed, but to my surprise the commute was quite easy. We disembarked at Federal Center and made our way through a maze of checkpoints and security. Seriously, the security was insane! Which was definitely a good thing. (Side note, the police officer who was stationed in our area was fantastic! He’d been stationed there since 3 a.m. and was still trying to get the wave going in our section. I was also surprised that there were several people protesting various issues including claiming that the Pope is the antichrist. I know. Sigh.)
Our tickets were for the main center lawn area but by the time we got there (two hours early!), there wasn’t room. We were ushered to the side lawn — facing the Capitol we were on the far right side. It wasn’t the best view of the balcony where the Pope came out but we were directly in front of a massive TV which made reading subtitles a breeze.
By the time the Pope started talking, we’d been standing for a couple hours and my back and legs were about ready to quit. But then Pope Francis started speaking. The crowd (and my back) came to life. People all around us hung on every word and many people were crying at various points during his speech. Sure, we were a little tired and we didn’t have the best view. But we were there! We got to be a part of history! I can’t wait to tell my kids that we were on the lawn of the Capitol the first time the pope addressed our Congress. Awesome!