A Report on the 4th of July on the Mall in Washington, DC:
We went down to the Mall in Washington DC tonight to see the Fireworks tonight. Usually there's a jam-packed crowd of 500,000...all day, in sweltering July humidity and heat...usually with bands playing, the orchestra in front of the capital, happiness and lightness, frisbees, lots or red, white and blue, good feelings. Tonight there couldn't have been more than 5,000....we sat down about 400 yards from the Washington Monument.....nobody was within 30' of us.
The weather was scintillating, cool, dry, with a delightful breeze but with something of a heavy-hearted feeling because of the fear the virus has generated in free Americans (why did Americans stay hidden in their houses - there were no restrictions - masks advised but not required - has something changed in the make-up of our people?) and because of the anarchic events going on in the country. Constitution Avenue was blocked by trucks with sand; soldiers and police were everywhere...but we were not checked entering into the Mall area at 17th street.
The flyover was impressive I must say; First a bunch C-47's painted in Normandy livery, then a B-17 escorted by 4 P-51's, then a B-24 with a F4D Corsair and a P-51. 4 B-26's, then a B-29, a flight of Huey's and Cobra gunships from Vietnam, a bunch of Blackhawks and Apaches along with a couple of Chinooks. Two Marine tilt-rotors; a KC-135 Tanker; a flight of F-15's; a B-1 bomber - putting on its afterburners over the White House, then a B-2, then more F-18's, then a B-52, and finally the Blue Angels who looped back around and did one of those vertical scatter drills right above the Washington Monument. Really impressive.
About 30 minutes before the start of the fireworks, about 300 BLM protesters...chanting like Castro's mindless minions showed up, some waving red hammer and sickle flags, with counter-demonstrators chanting USA USA....Finally the fireworks went off with piped in music, Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture finale..then an ear numbing combination of rap, rock, marching music, etc. And the fireworks in three places, around the Washington Monument, by the river and by the Lincoln Memorial were fantastic. It went on for 30 minutes and when it finally was over and the smoke blew away, a huge full moon rose behind the Washington Monument.
We almost never go down to the mall on the 4th because of the crowds...at least not since the kids grew up. But this was special - we had to take a stand. It's a dark time. The "protestors" tried to destroy the mood. But couldn't destroy our holiday.
It was a very strange 4th....different from any I've ever participated in in Washington DC, when I've been back from abroad. This day, though, lifted us above the sour, history destroying vandals at work in the country...and showed that we still have our background, our principles and our uniqueness. But I have to say, for me (my wife feels differently) a lot of the joy, bonhomie, peaceful contentment, good feelings, and "we really are one nation" which I usually come away with from the event were missing.