Friday, July 13, 2007

An American Going Forth on the Fourth

On July 4, 2007 we were in Washington D. C.

We had contact with a lot of different people.
  • The Cab Driver from Reagan National was a turbaned south Asian.
    • He spent the entire drive talking on his cell to his children about their plans for celebrating the 4th.
    • He seemed genuinely proud his children were "100% American".
  • The Doormen at the hotel were African, from which country I couldn't tell.
  • The desk clerks were all middle eastern.
  • We had a Pakistani (I think) cab driver rescue us from a raining tornado warning when the mall was closed and returned us to our hotel, even though he was off duty and going home.
Later, after the tornado warning was lifted and after changing into dry clothes we returned to the mall, with the help of another south Asian cab driver, very nice and helpful.

On the mall I was disappointed to find the World War II Memorial was closed. I wanted to look at it and decide whether it was the correct decision. We couldn't walk through it but were able to settle just across 17th Street from it. We had a great view and were able to listen to the concert while we waited for the fireworks.

I laid out on the grass. It was surprisingly dry considering the downpour earlier in the day. We listened to the concert and waited for the fireworks. The most interesting thing was the people around us. They were all polite, and there were many families. Most surprising was the makeup of the crowd. There were lots of families with children, there were lots of young couples. I counted at least 4 different languages spoken around us including Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and at least one Indian sub-continent language, judging by the sound and look of the people. Unlike most people we didn't have chairs, too much luggage.

The fire works were amazing. There were thousands of shells. Some of the displays I had never seen before including shells which created the shapes of five pointed stars and hearts, most spectacular were the displays of giant gold cascades of overlapping each other.

Located between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial we were almost directly below the detonation point of the fireworks. The detonations drowned out the music. We also had a great view of the thousands of people gathered on the rear steps of the Lincoln Memorial.I think it's very close to the Greatest Free Show on Earth.

If you haven't been go, and take the kids.


Leigh C. said...

Great fireworks pics!

It's a bummer when a monument, a museum worth seeing, or a location of great natural beauty (or any ol' thing people want to see) is shut tight. Glad you were able to see something...

mominem said...

These aren't my pictures. I found these but they do represent the setting, but nothing compares with the actual experience.

Anonymous said...

Not being able to be on the Mall for the 4th is one of the few reasons i miss my hometown! You didn't mention going to the National Archives earlier in the day. That's another spectacular sight -- they reenact the reading of the Declaration of Independence, complete with fifes, drums, and herald. Glad you were able to go -- wish all Americans could, at least once.