Friday, July 7, 2017By:
This weekend I really got to see D.C. at its best-- Independence Day! I started off the day at the parade, which was hot but lots of fun. There were high school marching bands from all over the country decked out in red, white, and blue. I was thoroughly impressed with their skill and charisma, especially since I was watching at the very end of the mile-long parade. I was boiling just standing there, so I can't imagine how they must have felt! I also managed to get some very patriotic photos of an American eagle floating in front of the Washington Monument, a roller derby team skating around with the U.S. flag, and Abraham Lincoln waving to the masses.
My next stop was the National Archives, which had the original Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Constitution on display. While it was very cool to see the documents in person, I was surprised at how faded they were. Aside from the last few pages of the constitution (which had been stored below the others, and thus received less exposure to light), it was very difficult to make anything out, including the famous signatures. I was even more surprised when I compared them to one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta from 1297, which was still clearly legible!
Finally, it was time for the concert and fireworks on the National Mall. Some of the other interns and I were able to access the staff-only section, so we had a great view from the steps of the Capitol! It was hosted by John Stamos (who walked by us just before the show started) and featured artists including the Beach Boys, Trace Adkins, Chris Blue, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the United States Army Band. Even C-3PO and R2-D2 made an appearance! I think my favorite part was when the fireworks started going off to the 1812 Overture. And yes, there were cannons as well. Happy 4th of July!