I parked on the corner of 17th and New York, mine being the only car on the block. As I lit my cigarette I noticed a steady stream of college students from GW and Georgetown, draped in flags, sprinting through the empty streets. I hadn’t anticipated this, but I had timed it right. I weaved my way to the front gate. The “USA” chants were already resonating throughout Lafayette Square but at that point I could still raise my elbows. A hundred people, maybe two. Three hours later, in the dead of night, reds and whites and blues waved as far as my eye could see. Thousands. I found myself caught up in the moment, joining in on an emotional rendition of our National Anthem. I didn’t know anyone killed in the 9/11 attacks but they were Americans, like I am, with mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters, like I have. I’d like to believe that the joy we saw last night stemmed not so much from the death of an evil man but from the hope we all share that those families might now experience some kind of closure. It was quite a night.