Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Trip Journal, Day 11, "4th of July in Washington DC"

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The 4th of July along with Christmas is my favorite holiday. We got up fairly early at our daughters condo and then took the metro to downtown Washington DC to watch the parade. We found a nice place on a bench across the street from the National Archives, the building where the original Declaration of Independence is on display. It was a great people watching place and we watched about an hour of the parade before we went to the National Mall to check out the Smithsonian craft fair. We then walked over to the Washington Memorial and then to the World War II Memorial. I wanted to do some more walking and said good by to my wife and daughter who because of their colds wanted to head back to the condo. I then went on a long hike to some of my favorite places on earth.

I first took the long way around the tide pool to the Jefferson Memorial and spent some time with the author of the Declaration of Independence who died along with John Adams on July 4th, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,......

From there I worked my way through several security check points over to the White House. They had the side of the White House facing the Washington Memorial completely blocked off so I worked my way around to the side facing Lafayette Park. This is the side shown in all the reporter "stand ups" when a news reporter is reporting from the White House. From there I walked by the Willard Hotel..... been there since the Civil War and started my walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. I stopped at the Old Post Office building where they have a food court and got a deli sandwich and some ice tea. I then continued up to the Capitol and stopped by the Senator Robert Taft Memorial. Senator Taft was known as "Mr Republican" in the 1940's and I remember visiting the memorial for the first time in 1965, with my dad, when I visit Washington DC for the first time for about 24 hours. From there I walked back to our daughters condo. All in all I walked about 6 to 8 miles. By the time I got back to our daughter's place my left ankle which is always sore "with age" was very sore. I also was wearing shorts and the area just above my socks in the ankle area was very red up the leg. I then put on some aloe vera and some Bactine on the sunburn.

I then rested for a few hours and watched James Cagney in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" on TV with my wife and daughter. We then watched "A Capitol 4th" on PBS before we walked back to the Capitol to watch the fireworks. The three of us then watched the fireworks from the front of the Russell Senate Office Building next to the Capitol. We then walked over to the Capitol grounds facing the U.S. Supreme Court Building and got some great pictures. We then walked back to our daughters condo and collapsed into bed after a great and glorious 4th of July.

John Adams on celebrating Independence Day:

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations (fireworks) from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

I don't know about "forever more" but 233 years later we are still celebrating !