The Capitol had been around for a long time. It held nearly two hundred and thirty years of memories in its marbled halls, and it knew that the Americans believed it held the center of their Nation’s democracy.
In the past years, it had watched as division split the people, as anger and fear and lies had spread through its houses of government, and finally as things had exploded. It had watched, unable to assist, as an angry mob stormed its halls, laying siege to the democracy in its corridors. They desecrated its halls and terrified the Americans who watched.
But now, just a few weeks later, the Capitol, draped in flags and bunting, watched as two new leaders were sworn into office. One of them was a woman, one a man, with words of peace. It watched as a lady with white hair and a red skirt sang the National Anthem; it watched as a black Reverend said the words “We must make friends of our enemies.”
It watched as the man with the peaceful words said, “My whole heart is in it,” and it remembered.
The Capitol remembered a time when a tall, thin man in a stove-pipe hat had stood on its steps and said the exact same thing. The Capitol’s dome had not even been completed then, and now, a hundred and sixty years later, it was proud to hear those words again.
The building watched as a young black woman with a yellow coat and braids in her hair took the podium. When she started to speak, her lyrical voice carried far over the National Mall, echoing against the shining white marble of the Washington Monument and bouncing over the water, past the 400 Pillars of Light, down to the Lincoln Memorial.
The Capitol could hear, even though those on its steps could not, the words of another black orator, another Reverend, echoing back.
They said: “I have a dream.”