We headed out around 6am Friday morning and drove 12-13 hours from AL to DC in a tiny car with Von Scott, Blake Harvell, Tom Hand and the husband and me. Going on little to no sleep, we were delirious and silly by the 4 hour mark.
We got in that evening and met up with heathens in the hotel bar.
The morning of the Reason Rally, Robert and I hopped on the Metro with hundreds of others. Anticipation filled the station. Down in the darkness the train bumped and jerked along and we made our way to the Mall. Filing out and up the escalator toward the daylight above we stepped foot into history. Cue chills. The Washington Monument stood dizzyingly tall behind an enormous stage with our logos and our banners and flags. People everywhere. Tents. Signs. Unity. Turning around the Capitol building was on the opposite end in the drizzle and haze behind us. Overwhelmed by the hugeness of it all... we stood shoulder to shoulder for 7 hours in the rain with what was possibly 40,000 other atheists. Here, all the in-fighting and kerfluffles fell away and we showed the country who we are. We're here, we're godless, get used to it.
Speaker after speaker took to the stage and I can't even begin to summarize them all. It was an enormous success and a day that I and so many others will cherish and fondly look back at and talk about how we were there in the trenches back when atheists were the most hated minority in the country. One day we'll look back and remember how "coming out" atheist was a life-changing experience. One day we'll look back and remember when coming out felt scary but necessary, honorable, and important. One day we'll look back and remember our challenges. Because one day the perception will shift and it will no longer be difficult to be an open atheist and historic events like this will mark our progress. I look forward to looking back and smiling.
Dave Silverman, I am honored to be a part of an organization that has you as president. I am so proud to say I'm an American Atheist.
To all the other organizations, event organizers, and volunteers involved to which none of this would have been possible without, I thank you all for all your hard work and dedication.
Reason Rally photo blog and JesusFetusFajitaFishsticks Reason Rally weekend awards blog coming soon! :D