Matt Mendelsohn at the Lincoln Memorial
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
The poignant photograph above by Matt Mendelsohn accompanied his brief commentary, Memorial Day in the Op-Ed section of the New York Times.
I used to be a photojournalist. And so Tuesday night, as some 200,000 Chicagoans gathered around a brightly lighted stage under the gaze of the world’s news media, I headed to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, expecting to find a crowd and some news.After the debacle of the last eight years in Washington, it is no surprise there were fewer gathered here, at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, then there were at St. Marks and 1st. Avenue in the East Village. Much will be said about this election as time passes. Matt Mendelsohn has recorded a moment which should not be forgotten.
Instead, I found 25 or so people who had made their way in the dark to the marble steps of the memorial and stood silently around a lone transistor radio. On the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, they listened, some crying in the drizzle, as Barack Obama began his address before the Grant Park multitude.