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Today's word on journalism

January 13, 2009


"I get the feeling that the 24-hour news networks are like the bus in the movie 'Speed.' If they stop talking for a second, they think they'll blow up."

--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Ross Martin)

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

One perfect rainy day at the Lincoln Memorial

By Kelly Brinkerhoff

December 11, 2008 | As I dug through my closet to find his favorite shirt of mine -- a white, trench-style, button up shirt with a large stiff collar -- I thought about what I was going to say and do first when I saw him in the airport. Was I going to run and jump in his arms, or casually walk to him and wrap my arms around his neck?

Eric graduated from college in the spring of 2007 and moved to Manassas, Va., to work for the summer. It had been two months since I had seen my boyfriend of four years, so I had to wear his favorite shirt.

My alarm buzzed promptly at 4 a.m. so I could get ready for the Airport Shuttle to pick me up at 5 a.m. and take me to Salt Lake International. I was so excited I hardly slept at all that night. The shuttle picked me up at 5 a.m. on the dot and drove me directly to the airport for my long plane ride to Washington, D.C.

When I arrived at the airport to check-in, the lady behind the counter informed me my flight had been cancelled. The only thing they could do for me was to reschedule my flight to where I would first fly to Las Vegas, then to Atlanta, and then to D.C. I called Eric to let him know that I wouldn't arrive until 10 p.m. so he could cancel our plans for the day.

Immediately I was able to board my plane to head to my destinations. It would definitely take a lot longer to get to the final one because I had to switch planes two times, but at least I was on my way.

On the plane, I tried to fall asleep, I consumed two glasses of Chardonnay, but I still couldn't get rid of the butterflies expanding in my stomach. The closer I got to to seeing Eric, the more nervous I was. Shouldn't I be more excited than nervous, I thought to myself.

The gravity was slightly lifting me out of my seat as the plane proceeded to land. Finally, the moment was here, now I was excited and couldn't wait to see him. I got off the plane and quickly walked to pick up my luggage and meet Eric. There he was, wearing his grass-green Element shirt. It was like the movies; we walked towards each other and embraced one another in our arms as if he had never left. Everything was happening in slow motion, but I was okay with that because this moment seemed to last longer.

It was late, so we decided to go back to the hotel, order room service, and get some rest because we had a busy day the next day. We were going on a tour around Washington D.C. to visit the different monuments and memorials.

When we awoke the next morning, the rain was really pouring. We contemplated whether or not to go on the tour, but decided to tough it out and go. We rode the bus to the central station where we waited in line outside in the rain to board our bus.

Eric was so mad that we weren't able to do this the day before. "Yesterday was perfect." He kept saying. I couldn't understand why he was so upset. We were together and we would still have fun in the rain, maybe even more fun.

Sopping wet, we boarded the bus and set off to the different memorials and monuments around the city. What a spectacular place this was. There has been so much history made in Washington D.C. that I was soaking up as much of the city as I could. Eric, on the other hand, was very fidgety and quiet.

It was getting dark, the rain had stopped, and we had one last place to visit, the Lincoln Memorial. I had seen pictures of it and had seen it in the movies, but I never imagined how large and pure this place really was. The feeling of respect and pride for our country overwhelmed us as we awed over it. We had more time to spend at this memorial and I could see why. There were so many stairs to walk up, so many tourists, and so much to take in.

After an hour, our bus was getting ready to leave, so we decided it was time to walk back. We started walking down the stairs and stopped to gaze at the spectacular view of the Washington Monument straight in front of us and the reflection of it in the reflecting pool. This was truly an unforgettable moment. We sat down on the stairs for a moment to breathe in the wet air and mentally take a picture of this scene.

Eric was still very fidgety and nervous for some reason. His mind was in some other place. We were about to get up and walk down the rest of the stairs when Eric stood up with his hands in his pockets. Sweating and trembling he knelt down on one knee and said, "Kelly, I love you so much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" He pulled a maroon box out of his pocket and opened it. Inside was a perfect white gold ring with an emerald cut diamond in the center.

"Yes, I will marry you." I said, tears welling in my eyes, as he put the ring on my finger.

Naturally, we started kissing on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial while tourists passing us oblivious to what had just happened. We rushed back to the bus where everyone was patiently waiting for us to board. As we walked on Eric yelled, "She said yes!" as he held up my hand, showing our new friends the ring. Everyone gave us a standing ovation before we headed back to the central station.

July 27, 2007 was, so far, the best day of our lives, with many more to come. We were getting married and nothing could take us off this natural high we were on, called cloud nine.


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