Three weeks ago I was able to visit Washington DC for the first time. For as long as I can remember, I have loved history and for as long as I can remember, my parents have always told me that it was my duty to vote. My parents both held local offices, my father was mayor of our small town for eight years and my mom served as an alderwoman for twelve, so voting for me was never an issue, it was, and still is, a privilege and a duty. I think I have had a hard time putting my brief visit to DC into words mainly because I had such a short time there and because it was overwhelming. I don’t know what I expected, but I think my history geek neurons nearly exploded. I had such a short time there, that I knew that the one place that I needed to go was the National Archives. I needed to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in person. Riding in the Uber towards the Archives, I caught a glimpse of the Capitol and of the Washington Monument and it nearly took my breath away. Here were those building and monuments that I have read about, seen on television, and where some of the greatest men and women in our history have worked to create this not-so-perfect Union. Standing in front of the Declaration and the Constitution made me want to cry. (Which to be honest, was a little embarrassing) There it was, the document that set us on a collision course with Independence and the document that eventually gave suffrage to everyone. Don’t get me wrong, it took a while for that to happen, but it did! Millions have died, and millions more have served, to protect our freedoms, including this precious right of ours to have a say in our democracy. Everyone, who is eligible, should never take this for granted and should vote in every election from the school board race to the Presidential race. Change doesn’t happen by sitting in a chair complaining. Change happens when you vote. I voted last week. I let my voice be heard. Have you?
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