As you might imagine, DC is abuzz with the preparations for the state funeral for President Reagan, the first in over 30 years. There are tons of preparations going on around town between the arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, to the coffin at the Capitol for the public to walk by, to the ceremony at the National Cathedral. The news is saying that this is akin to the 9/11 memorial service that was held at the Cathedral. The anticipation even drifts out to the Beltway, where major delays are expected as the casket travels from arrival to the city.
I grew up right outside of DC and have lived here my whole life. One of the great things about DC is that there is so much to do and all the good stuff is free. The Smithsonian, which all the museums are part of, is all free. Yup, everything, including the National Zoo. So living so close, we hardly ever take advantage of it.
On the flip side, because DC is the capital, in our post 9/11 world, there is always an undercurrent of "what if?" I remember a good friend telling me that there were snipers on the rooftops of the Senate and House buildings when he worked there during the first Gulf War. Along the same lines, we always think twice before we go downtown these days, just for the safety aspect. Is there a big event? Lots of tourists going to be there? If so, we usually pass. DC is an awesome city, but if there is lots going on, it might be better to skip. After all, that is the safe thing to do.
On the flip side, like what they said at Origins, we will continue to live in an increasingly violent world. No doubt about it, terror alerts are now a fact of life. In the US, we should get used to it, like other parts of the world have been used to it. Like what Alex McManus said, "We have grown to believe that God’s kingdom is not about life and death."
(If you haven't noticed, I've been thinking about this 'safe' issue a bit lately.)
Below is a very well done graphic about Reagan's funeral. Linked from washingtonpost.com. You might need to login (free registration).
took the graphic out and put a link in instead. easier to read that way...