Fireworks at the Nation’s capital

Washington, District of Columbia -- I took this picture on Independence Day, 2010 (with my point-n-shoot camera.) It was my first time seeing fireworks at the nation’s capital, even though I visited the area many times before. It was a great show.
Washington, District of Columbia — I took this picture on Independence Day, 2010 (with my point-n-shoot camera.) It was my first time seeing fireworks at the nation’s capital, even though I visited the area many times before. It was a great show.

It’s been a good weekend. Saturday I got a chance to visit a good friend.

Then, today, we went to D.C. to see the fireworks display and celebrate our nation’s independence.

I think the vilification of personal fireworks has resulted in fewer families actually lighting fireworks at home, and more people planning on seeing formal fireworks shows (put on by their cities, schools or other organizations.) I know that some places make fireworks illegal, and I think some parents are just fine with not having to pay for fireworks to attend a free show instead.

That’s been us for the past few years. Sadly, Taj hasn’t experienced the joy of lighting fireworks at home. (But, he has seen some great fireworks shows around the world.)

Anyway, on the 4th of July we linked with some good friends in Chantilly (who had the inside scoop on the best place to see the show in D.C.) We loaded up three cars worth of kids and drove into the capitol. We found a place to park (at the D.C.-rrific rate of only $18 for two hours,) then walked to the lawn of the Federal Reserve building. DSC00942From there we had a decent view of the sky directlyabove the Washington monument, which appeared to be where the fireworks were lit from.

It was a nice display, with loud explosions that we could feel (as well as see.) Taj and the rest of the kids who came with us were impressed. (That’s our group … Muna is on the left; Taj is wearing the white shirt in front, amazed.) Best of all, it was FREE!

I asked Taj if he knew about why American celebrated with fireworks on the 4th of July. He answered: “Because of George Washington?”

“Kinda,” I replied.

I told him the basics about America’s youth. (Don’t worry, I told him the innocent 1st grade version. He’ll learn about taxation, Native Americans, slavery and the civil war soon enough … no need to ruin the moment.) I realized that although he knows he is an American, we had never really talked about being an American. I took that opportunity to instill a little patriotism in him.

Once the show was over, it was a mad dash for everyone to get back to their cars. Although we found it relatively easy to get INTO the city, getting out of D.C. proved to be a stressful experience, as many of the roads were closed off, and pedestrians made moving by car very difficult given the crowded area. It took us a couple of hours just to get out of the city … not fun, at all.

Still, I’m hoping that Taj gained a new appreciation for the 4th of July. More importantly, I hope he appreciates being one of the lucky few to be born in a first-world country.DSC00929

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