Reflections by the Reflection Pond

Posted on Tuesday, Apr 10, 2018

“You know, as an extravert, I am typically not at a loss for words,
but this is one of those rare moments.”

It was a moment that if you had told me would be a memory before I left for DC, I would not have believed you. But there I was—standing on the frozen Reflection Pond by the Lincoln Memorial. The ice wasn’t too solid so I didn’t go very far in, but just far enough to see one of the most spectacular sights I had ever seen. One of my favorite parts of being an Aggie was being outside a large city. Often times in College Station I would drive to Lake Bryan, park my car, and simply look up at the stars on a clear night sky. I would normally be lost in the vastness of space and trying to wrap my mind around the multitude of stars in front of me.

Yet in D.C., it was the nearest star to Earth that struck me. The sun was beginning to set and light was slowly fading away from the sky. But in that fading, the star was giving off one last glow—one last dazzling display—before reappearing in the morning.

And as I stood on that frozen pond, I looked away from the sunset for one second and looked straight ahead of me. Only a hundred or so feet away from me, and up a few stairs sat Abraham Lincoln. Even with the dimming light, I could still make out his face and his gaze.       

My mind drifted to the Civil War and tried to comprehend how what it meant to fight for a nation that was tearing itself apart. Like most people I believe, it was nearly impossible. Yet Lincoln had been able to, and for that he entered into the American eternity. He had become an immortal and after for standing up for his beliefs for the nation itself, he was able to final sit and gaze forever upon a country of United States.

We left the area a few minutes later, but I don’t know if I can ever leave behind that memory. It confirmed that—in some way shape or form—I wanted to help the United States. What that means, I am still figuring it out truthfully. But that day gave some reassurance. That I maybe in D.C. for only a semester, but this would not be the longest I would be in this city.

Gregory Wiatrek
Office of Senator John Cornyn
Washington, D.C. | spring 2018