Place As we drove into

Sep 24, 2001

Place As we drove into Washington, D.C. on Saturday, I felt happy to be back in the city of my birth, but I also felt unsteady in the face of our nation’s recent and current crisis. Our capital was quiet, unlike previous Saturdays I’ve been on the mall with hundreds of thousands of other tourists. This weekend, there were only handfuls of people. Erin and I drove up from North Carolina to attend a Peace Corps vigil service at the end of the reflecting pool in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. About 300 other Returned Peace Corps Volunteers gathered there for a ceremony of Peace Corps country flags—more than 160,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 135 countries in the last 40 years—and a program of readings, songs and speeches. Sargent Shriver, the founding director of the Peace Corps, gave a rousing oration. “Service, service, service … is the only thing that will allow civilization to go on,” he said. Our fellow Vanuatu RPCVs Josh and Kristin Eaton joined us at the service, and we snapped photos of us holding the Vanuatu flag; we’ll send these back to Vanuatu, and that country can have a connection to the events happening in our own country. When I looked down the reflecting pool toward the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol, I was proud to be an agent of peace, and I hoped that out of these uneasy times a better world will emerge.

John and Patty Zuiker hosted Erin and Anna and me at their Virginia home. This was the first time I’d met my cousins Kevin and Kristi, and Shane was six feet taller than the last time I’d seen him. We had a very nice visit with them, and we barely escaped with Anna—they wanted to keep her. I don’t blame them, since little Anna is so adorable. Coincidentally, another John Zuiker lives down the street; he’s a distant cousin of my uncle John. See John and Patty’s special license plate in the picture at right..

Anton Zuiker

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