Friday, July 14, 2017By:
Being on the national mall for the Fourth of July is an experience uniquely characterized by how much ceremony is given to a day I've only ever personally experienced with family and friends at warm afternoon cookouts with the promise of maybe a few bottle rocets or snap crackers later in the evening. Until this week I never really had an understanding for how this holiday was treated anywhere else besides the suburbs of southeast Texas, and wile the south no doubt has a very special place for Independence day in it's heart it cannot compare to the festivities hosted by the capital city.
I attended ceremonial speeches, watched and listened as military cannons were fired to uprorious applause, heard the Star Spangled Banner ring out strongly from an orchestral group who were no doubt battling the elements every step of the way as their delicate wooden instruments soaked up the local humidity, and walked among throngs of people all gathering around to catch a glimpse of the action. Standing on one of the most crowded streets of the mall and looking to the east, I watched a ball of light soar up the large stone monolith and detonate far above the crowds to dazzle us all with colors in fire. It was absolutely the largest and most inense fireworks display I've ever seen, and it went on for far longer than I could have expected.
My time at the Society of Physics students office grew especially short, due to the long weekend and my (unofficial) start at the NIST Summer Teachers' Institute. All the prep work we can manage feels like it will only bring some small measure of surety in how things will play out, but I don't mind the extra bit of fun. It just wouldn't be proper science if I knew exactly what was going to happen the first time I tried it.
Thank you to my dearest friends back home, Smith, Leggington, Ty, and Jared for being a source of constant support and lending a hand whenever I needed it.