Monday, January 21

Weather for Martin Luther King Day in Washington: bitter cold, brilliant sun

After howling throughout the night the wind was still so fierce by late morning it turned the 20-degree temperature into a 4-degree wind chill event -- Arctic weather for the city. This Washingtonian spent the holiday hibernating. After waking from a long nap I viewed online photos of the hardy souls who participated in and lined up to watch the annual MLK Day parade in South East D.C. Better them than me, I shivered, after seeing one troupe of paraders in sneaker footgear. 

Reporter Mike Murillo for WTOP (all-news radio for D.C.), which posted the photo and others from the parade, interviewed one parade-watcher:
“It’s really, really, cold,” said Ben Ado, of Ward 8. But coming to the event had become an annual tradition for him for many years, he added.

Though the cold may have kept some people away this year, Ado said over the past few years, the parade has diminished in size. “It’s kind of sad to see the parade getting smaller and smaller. They used to go all the way like, I think, about a 3 or 4-mile radius,” Ado said.
I think Ben should take heart. If the plan was to tamp down the importance of a federal holiday honoring Dr. King by placing its date in the dead of winter, it backfired. Martin Luther King Day is becoming an important American national holiday; one reason is that falling as does on a Monday, it makes a three-day break in an otherwise dreary month. 

And because the holiday is remarkably free of commercialization Dr King's lessons and hopes for Americans can be heard above the din of consumerism. This was signified this year by the cloudless sky that arched over the parade route and gorgeous sun shining down all who attended the parade, no matter their race or creed. This, after months of mostly cloudy skies and rain in the District followed by a snowstorm.


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