Sunday, August 17, 2008

Worth the Wait

I love history. Call me a nerd, but I find it fascinating. It doesn't even really matter what type of history... American, European, Ancient. I love it all. So when I heard that the Declaration of Independence was going to be making a stop in Salt Lake, my nerdy ears perked up. Someday I hope to visit Washington D.C. and the National Archives to see the original DOI, but that could be years down the road. So, Doug and I loaded up little Tyson (future history buff) and headed out to see it at the State Capitol. We figured we'd go check it out and then stop and get something for dinner.

This is the Capitol. It is a beautiful building. I hadn't been here since high school when I shadowed the late Senator Ed Mayne for a day. That itself was an awesome experience that only fueled my love of history.

Turns out, we weren't the only ones who wanted to see it. I could not believe how many people came out to get a glimpse of this amazing document. The line wrapped from one end of the building to the other, where it finally ended in the center with the DOI. We ended up making friends with the people in front of and behind us. What else are you going to do while waiting? You can only stare at marble for so long.

Tyson got tired of being held in line (and of course if you put him down he shot off like a rocket searching for trouble), so Doug and I took turns chasing him around the building trying to keep him entertained. We wandered around and found the rooms where Utah Senators and Representatives make laws and decisions. I found it all very captivating, Tyson was more interested in zooming up and down stairs and looking out windows.

When we finally did reach the front of the line (after more than 3 1/2 hours of waiting), we chatted with one of the people touring with the DOI about the turnout. She said that this was the largest crowd that had come to see it so far in their tour (having made 11 of 15 stops already). She was amazed at how many people came. I later heard that 12,000 people had come over the two days to check out one of our country's greatest historical documents.

The nice thing was, Cricket (sponsoring the tour) had people there that would take your photo in front of the DOI. Unfortunately, they aren't the most camera savvy and although I explained quite simply ("press the button halfway down to focus then press it all the way to take the photo"), something got lost in the explanation. She got the snap the photo part down, which I suppose is the most important. So here you can see, we made it finally to see the famed Declaration of Independence. It was over all too soon though, as I felt guilty for wanting to savor it after enduring hours of standing, chasing Tyson and hunger pangs just to witness this piece of history. In the end it was worth it. I can check it off my list of things I must see in my lifetime.

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