Photo of Alex, Lucia and Ataturk. Originally uploaded to Flickr by jimbuie3.
As we prepared to spend a year in Turkey, my wife, son and I had business to attend to at the Turkish Embassy in Washington. Here's a photo of Alex and Lucia in front of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern, secular Turkey and a model leader for Islamic nations.
We also picked up our new passports at the State Department. I love the design and the quotes on the new American passports -- makes me proud to be an American and feel like I personally am an ambassador, and that we are all ambassadors for our country. I did a Google search and some people don't like the newly designed passports, first issued in 2007. Karrie Jacobs on the Marketplace website describes it as "gaudy." She finds the quotes over the top:
"What a glorious morning for our country." -- Samuel Adams;
"We live in a world that is lit by lightning. So much is changing and will change, but so much endures and transcends time. -- Ronald Reagan.
When she travels, she says, she thinks of herself as "the Complex American -- a citizen of the fascinating, nuanced, multicultural, messy and basically decent place I know this country to be. But I feel like this passport blows my cover. It's like suddenly, against my will, I'm wearing ugly khaki shorts and talking way too loud. It's not that I'm unpatriotic. But the need to repeatedly thrust our whole catalogue of national iconography in the face of every customs officer we meet strikes me as kind of gauche. Isn't the gold eagle on the blue leatherette jacket enough of a symbol?"
I don't feel that way. Not yet, at least. I want Alex to memorize the quotes, as I did during my school days.
The Southeast Asia Travel Blog lists the quotes and describes the artistic renderings.