Finding E Pluribus Unum
A Trip to the US Capitol
I have fallen in love with three words: E Pluribus Unum. This love affair started almost as an off-the-cuff suggestion from one of my members of my social club Adventures for Creative Tourists. The man was a history buff – so I should have seen this one coming. It was a simple suggestion, “How about a tour of the US Capitol?” I thought about it for a week. Then, I went online and decided to get 30 Interior Passes just to try out the experience with a group.
At first, I wanted to focus on art in the Emancipation Hall, Burmidi Corridors, and Statuary Hall. I called several Washington, DC Certified Tour Guides. A few gave great insight to the US Capitol over the phone, but didn’t seem to be too interested in working with me. I still wasn’t convinced that this tour would be interesting to people that loved the arts. One fall day, I took the Metro downtown to see the US Capitol. I walked into Emancipation Hall, and realized right then and there that there is much to enjoy with experiencing an Interior Tour, Emancipation Hall, US Capitol Museum, and the Cafeteria. So, I decided to stop sitting on the fence, and line up a tour guide for the date that I had the passes. I explained to Dan that I have these passes, and I thought it would be a great for our group to learn more about the exterior US Capitol along with an interior US Capitol Tour. He was thrilled, and free for this date.
Our group would have to share Dan’s cost. So, I set a price that I thought would work for our group. It sold out within seventy-two hours. I was impressed with the interest. I was very nervous for this tour because the group was so large, it was cold, and this was the first time I worked with Dan. Dan did a great job talking about the symbols, history of the building, and a few anecdotes of select statues.
For the interior tour that includes the Crypt, Old US Supreme Court, Statuary Hall, Rotunda, and the Old Congress Room our group had a new guide. But, first before you start your tour everyone goes into a large theater to see a film.
The film begins with three words “E Pluribus Unum.” This one thought originated with a group of men over two hundred years ago, when no one else were thinking like this. The translation, “Out of Many, One,” I had seen this phrase, heard it, and like most forgotten it. These three words are important, and are the backbone that holds are Democracy today. We have checks and balances created because of these three words. Quite often today, many of us feel that these three words are being ignored, but they are still there. Hovering in the background, just like a white elephant. These three words make America Great. Those that think America is not great, and must be improved on really ought to see this film. Then they would realize that America has always been great. It doesn’t need to be improved, tinkered with, paired down to run better. America runs just the way it should run. Maybe it’s the people that are running it?