Day 26 Free Speech

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I went downtown yesterday, for the first time in 26 days, just to see what what I could see. It was the first time I did not have an intentional purpose in this city that I've come to love and call home. So, I brought my cameras and spent the day talking to strangers and being amazed by the outpouring of goodness in this city. 

I will let the images speak for themselves but, there are two things I'd like to specifically share with you. I had the honor of having lunch at José Andrés World Central Kitchen popup restaurant. Chef Andres and his partners have banned together to create #ChefsForFeds. Not only was the food incredible - the hospitality of the employees and volunteers was out of this world. These incredible individuals are some of the best humanity has to offer.

After lunch I walked down to the Newseum. For those who may not be familiar with the Newseum, it is a museum that promotes free expression and the First Amendment. Unlike most museums in DC, this is not part of the Smithsonian and is run, I believe, by a non profit. I have never been here before because I had always viewed the admission fee as steep ($26.00 for adults). 

This week, in the wake of the #Furlough, the Newseum waived the entrance fee for furloughed feds. Hands down, this is one of the most powerful and important museums in our country. 

When the government reopens and I am back at work and caught up with the bills, without question - I will return with my husband and sons. Given the content, the relevance to today, the sheer importance of free speech - now more than ever - in my lifetime at least - I will surely pay $26.00 to be reminded of just how fragile Free Speech really is. Free speech is not only about ones ability to speak but the ability to listen to others and allow other views to be heard. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. It reinforces all other human rights, allowing society to develop and progress. The ability to express our opinion and speak freely is essential to bring about change in society.

And we mustn't forget how easily it can be lost.

“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.” 

― Oscar Wilde