With ample choices for great viewing at or near the National Mall, we were pleasantly surprised at how uncrowded it seemed. The many security checkpoints around the Mall seemed to handle the crowd very well. We breezed through, with only one of us carrying a backpack, which was searched. Walking from the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station, we entered from 7th Street. Meandering west, we finally settled on a spot near the Washington Monument.
Having flown over 2000 miles from Phoenix that morning, we were traveling light for a 3-day stay. We surely hadn’t thought to pack a blanket or towels to sit on the damp lawn. In fact, we hadn’t even thought to check the weather. Our very first purchase as we reach the top of the escalator from the Metro, in the pouring rain, was 2 umbrellas! Fortunately, the rain over the weekend was sporadic and we even used the umbrellas for sunshade occasionally.
We found a somewhat dry spot on the edge of a sidewalk from which to watch the show. The stage where the Gatlin Brothers were performing was close enough to hear the music at a level that still allowed for conversation. A pleasant chat with the people seated next to us, from Georgia, made the last ½ hour move quickly.
What a show! We’d picked a terrific spot, near enough to feel the concussion from each explosion in our chests. An amazing display, non-stop, constantly escalating toward a grand finale of continual flashes and booms. I was teary when the last explosion ended, and the crowd went wild with whistles and cheers. What a way to spend Independence Day, at the place where our freedoms were fought for and secured.
Germany, India, France, Scandinavia, Britain, Mexico, Asia. We saw people and heard languages from around the world. It gave me extra pride in my country to realize that our Nation’s Capital and its history were attractive internationally.