2021 was a year in which both nothing and everything seemed to happen, with the pandemic and political and social upheaval dominating our city’s life. Here’s some of what we documented this year:
- January 6th and its aftermath
- The transition to a new administration
- The pandemic
- The new
- Social justice
- Memorials and remembrances
- Traditional events return
- Solace in the natural world
- Metro meltdown
- Celebrations and finding joy
January 6th and its aftermath
Most of the Federal buildings were fenced off and guarded after the January 6th attack.
National Guards and troops without identification were everywhere, and helicopters flew overhead.
There were tributes to the officers who had been injured or killed on January 6th.
The transition to a new administration
Trump’s helicopter leaving the White House on the morning of the Inauguration:
Pennsylvania Avenue heavily guarded shortly before the Inauguration:
While the Inauguration was closed to the public, on the night before the Inauguration, the celebratory Columns of Light were visible from many locations in the city – 56 columns of light projected on the Mall to represent the states and territories.
It’s impossible to visualize the scope and the horror of the losses caused by the pandemic, but artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg’s project of flags on by the Washington Monument captured it in a profound way – with one flag representing each COVID death, and many of them inscribed to the loved ones lost.
D.C. welcomed several new developments and restorations, including the new Frederick Douglass Bridge, the re-opening of the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building, the permanent installation of Black Lives Matter Plaza, the transformation of Pershing Park into the new WWI Memorial, the reconfigured Franklin Park, and the re-opening of MLK Library.
Frederick Douglass Bridge
Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building
Black Lives Matter Plaza
World War I Memorial
So many social issues were subjects of rallies and demonstrations in 2021 but remain largely unresolved, including: Black Lives Matter, poverty and homelessness, the quest for D.C. statehood, gun violence, Asian hate, abortion, voting rights, the climate crisis, women’s issues, and immigration reform.
Black Lives Matter
Poverty and homelessness
The quest for D.C. statehood
The bill for D.C. statehood passed in the House this year but is stalled in the Senate.
Memorials and remembrances
Memorial ceremony for Bob Dole
Some traditional events return
While many events were postponed during this second year of the pandemic, some came back – Fiesta D.C., Pride, July 4th, Juneteenth, Art All Night, the High Heel Race, and the free Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Art All Night
The High Heel Race
Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Solace in the natural world
There’s so much nature even in the center of the city, and many of us turned to more closely observing the natural world during the pandemic.
Baby Xiao Qi Ji celebrated his first birthday at the zoo.
And the cicadas invaded everywhere.
After a derailment, all of Metro’s newer 7000-series trains were removed from service for a period that is still ongoing – a major blow to the hope of better public transportation infrastructure.
The 50-year tradition of the Malcolm X Drum Circle continued each Sunday.
Streets were occasionally closed to allow people to have fun walking and dancing along the way.
Informal music gatherings on porches
Wishing our city and its residents the best for 2022.
Want to see even more?
To see more photos from the topics covered above, here are the links to full stories: