City Paper is not for tourists
If yesterday’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial is practice for the cops, National Guard soldiers, and volunteers in charge of handling the masses, I think we’re in good hands. Leaving the Lincoln was, notably, not that exciting.
When I got to the checkpoint, the entire area between the WWII memorial and the Washington Monument was pretty much clear. When the show was over, that area was an undulating lake of humanity. The Lincoln grounds were pretty packed, too, although, in truth, they certainly could have let more people in.
We all got there at different times and we all pretty much left at the same time. And nothing catastrophic happened. Cops and soldiers id’d spots were people were likely to stop and take a picture, clogging the flow—-especially at the end of the reflecting pool facing Lincoln. Calmly, they told people not to stop, to step off to the side if they wanted to snap a shot. People listened. They didn’t shove. One woman dropped a camera battery and a small boy picked it up and handed it to her. The whole massive crowd experience was entirely civil.
A little more than a week ago, I was out reporting in Burleith and a doctor told me another doctor friend of his was preping to treat crush injuries. If that happens, I’d be surprised. The mood around this town is scarily nice. It kind of creeps me out. Not as much as the guy with the dolls, but still. All this orderly optimism makes me think we’ll survive this. And then revert to our familiar, pissed-off selves. Can’t wait!