See the photo above this post? It was taken last week on a sultry summer afternoon near the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Now imagine the grassy area that you see stretching toward the Washington Monument filled with tens of thousands, maybe upwards of 100,000 people on October 4, only 70 days from this writing.
Can you see them on both sides of the reflecting pool? If you look closely at the photo, you can make out the World War II Memorial which looks like it’s right next to the Washington obelisk. Actually, it’s about halfway between the Lincoln and the Washington monuments.
About three quarters of a mile past the Washington Monument lies the Capitol Building currently encased in scaffolding. From the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall stretches nearly two miles.
Can you picture the scene on October 4th? People from every state in the nation, every walk of life, every diverse background, coming together to form a united bond against the common enemy: addiction.
It’s time; it’s our time
The UNITE to Face Addiction Rally is all-systems go for October 4th. I hope you’ve heard about it by now; I’ve written about it here a couple of times.
What is UNITE to Face Addiction? It’s a transformative event that will make history as thousands come together to ignite and build a movement to address one of the most pressing health issues of our time.
UNITE to Face Addiction is a grassroots advocacy initiative bringing together people, communities, and organizations working on addiction solutions across a wide spectrum. We are coming together to let the nation know that addiction is preventable and treatable, that far too many of those affected have been incarcerated, and that people can and do get well. Addiction can no longer be ignored.
October 4th is our day; it’s our time. At this writing, we are 70 days away from October 4th, the day 50,000+ people descend on the National Mall to help the 22 million Americans with addiction, to stand up for the 23 million in recovery and to end the silence around the crisis that kills 350 people every single day.
That’s right. One person, usually a young person, dies every four minutes from an alcohol- or drug-related incident.
It’s our time.
The National Mall
My sweetie and I wanted to get a taste of what it might feel like to be at the Rally on October 4th.
Sitting on the steps beneath the Lincoln Memorial, I could almost hear the echoes of all those who took their place in history while leaving the memories of their causes on the Mall.
I thought about how the ground had shaken with the footsteps of marchers for civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights. I thought about how the water in the reflecting pool had collected all the tears shed for lives lost when breast cancer and AIDs were shameful secrets.
The very air around us absorbed decades of cries demanding freedom to live with respect and dignity, free from stigma and discrimination, deserving of empathy and respect.
Soon–in less than 70 days–people in recovery from addiction, their families and friends and entire supportive communities will take to the National Mall to stake our well-deserved place in history. It’s time to end the silence that shrouds addiction and come together as a single unit demanding solutions.
It’s time to let the nation and the world know that we are Facing Addiction. It’s time to Recover Out Loud.
Join us, please. For more information, go to FacingAddiction.org.