As I came to Washington D.C. I thought “it’s no Winter Park, by any means,” but it definitely grew on me. I loved D.C more and more every day that I spent in the Capitol. Every day meant a new opportunity for me to take advantage of or for me to participate in. Throughout the first week of my internship I was asked “What is SLDN” and “What do you do?” Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, works to allow people to serve without regard to their sexual preference and is a top priority of my company. Our mission is to strive for a military force where all members are equal and that all be able to serve their country. As I began to work with the personnel who had been discharged because of the don’t ask don’t tell policy I realized that what I was working for was worth something. I knew that I was doing the right thing and that the soldiers that were having to live their lives in hiding their identity was wrong. If someone wanted to serve that they should be able to no matter their status as LGBT or any other identifier but even with the bill in the house we still have to work toward certification which requires signatures from the chairmen of the joint chiefs, Adm. Mullen and the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates or his confirmed successor Former CIA Chief Panetta.
But enough about work, the thing that I love about D.C. the most is the city itself. I have had an amazing time in D.C. and would recommend that every citizen of the U.S. visit the beautiful capitol that the nation has crafted on behalf of the people of the United States, especially since the construction of the new visitor’s center which began construction in 2006. I loved all of the different food that I have been able to sample since I have been here, beginning with my first night when I had the best enchiladas I’ve ever had at a small restaurant near the AU Campus, Guapo’s. My favorite moment thus far was when I had some extra time for lunch and instead of just going ahead into the office I took my extra time and ate my lunch in the beautiful Farragut Park. Just sitting in the park and munching on my lunch and watching the people was an experience that I will never forget. Just to sit there and people-watch was amazing seeing all of the different people in the park and the different ways that all the professionals dressed. It didn’t matter if you were a partner, an intern, a bank manager, or a messenger, everyone came to the park to enjoy their lunch, that park with its various citizens was a perfect example of the entire city of D.C. shoved into this tiny little patch of green. The other thing that I was able to enjoy about that lunch was that it was about 80 degrees outside, a nice change from the sweltering weather of Florida. I had a wonderful time and was able to enjoy my first week in the Nation’s Capitol in my internship with I fully and 100% believe this. This week also featured a visit to the Capitol. My class was shown what my professor affectionately called “the propaganda video” with its triumphant music and inspiring imagery, which I thoroughly enjoyed. After which we passed through the various buildings which housed the Senate or House at one time. Eventually we reached the Rotunda, where the large dome is overhead. In this room are the famous paintings that depict the growth and maturation of the United States. My favorite, which I incidentally had to write about when filling out college admissions questions asking “Name something that inspires you,”: John Trumball’s Signing of the Declaration of Independence” To see this painting in its full and complete original form was mind blowing. As I passed by the Capitol gift shop I picked up my souvenir copy of the Constitution of the United States, and I couldn’t resist also picking up a copy of that famous painting. After the tour I headed straight to work, but across from the Capitol I saw the Supreme Court building. When I passed by the Supreme Court building I saw the words “equal justice under the law” which made me tear up with happiness; because at that moment I imagined the day when my workplace’s objective would be complete and anyone could serve the U.S. in the military without regard to sexual preference or any other obstacle. With that I brought my first week in D.C. to an exciting close. It was a very tiring week, but I had never had a better time in my entire life.