The Fourth of July: the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, a night to spend with your family and friends, and ultimately, the Vanderbilt cohort’s day off from any activities planned by the ILC.
Even though today was supposed to be a break from our usual plans, it really didn’t feel like it. In my opinion, today was the most tiresome day we’ve had so far. Of course, this is most likely because much of the day consisted of walking, (we had no rental car) which in addition to the heat, was not an enjoyable process. However, all of that walking was worth the spectacular sights we saw today.
Our morning was particularly quiet, probably because of how late we went to sleep last night. We first headed out to finally see the front side of the White House, which looks just as pearly white as it does in the photos. Unfortunately, a gate blocked most of the view of the White House and we only had a small view of it.
We then took a few photos, and went on to go see the Washington Monument. However, on our way there we got sidetracked and decided to stay near an intersection and watched the 4th of July Parade. All the performers that we got to see were entertaining and I enjoyed watching the several marching bands play. I admit, as a band member myself, I was a little jealous of their fancy new instruments and energetic color guard, but overall I am content with the band I am in. Even so, I still felt bad for the poor guys marching in the torturous weather.
During the middle of the parade we eventually chose to leave to the Holocaust Memorial Museum a little more than half a mile away. This museum is somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go to, and I am glad I did. From the videos about treatment of Jews throughout history to the heart-wrenching story of a little Jewish boy, the museum reminded me of the importance of the factors revolving around the Holocaust and how things like this terror are happening today. It is not just a nightmarish story, it is real and we must all act to prevent genocides from occurring everywhere. It is terrible to live in a planet where hate is overflowing; that is why it is our job to prevent so much hate on this planet.
After the Holocaust Museum, we took an extremely long and exhausting walk to the Air and Space Museum, which is a part of the Smithsonian. It was huge, with tons of people and enormous model airplanes hanging off the ceiling. We did not stay there for very long; however we did see a show called Journey of the Stars. It was a mesmerizing show in a room with a huge dome for a screen. This screen enabled everyone to see every aspect of the show, making it look like we were really in space. I enjoyed the short film and I wish all movie theatres were like this so it can give a very realistic movie experience.
Once the film ended, we once again went in the excruciating heat and walked near the Washington Monument to watch the fireworks at 9 PM. We arrived extremely early so we tried to relax on the sticky grass before the show was to begin. After about 2 hours of waiting, the fireworks display finally began.
Gosh, I have never seen such a brilliant display of fireworks so close in my whole life; I mean one year, we didn’t even see any fireworks and I ended up watching a video of one on my laptop (I was 10, and I really wanted to see them that year). All the colors were extra bright and even hurt my eyes a little but it was still gorgeous. My favorite of all the fireworks is the one that looks like a beautifully flowing golden waterfall. I think it is the most enticing one of all of them and it gives the sky an angelic and divine look to it.
After about 10 or 15 minutes, the display ended with huge minute-long bangs that probably were loud enough to be heard in California. I think this was a brilliant way to end an excellent day of sight-seeing, and touring.
I am glad we got to have this taste of Washington D.C. before our tour at Georgetown tomorrow. It makes the tour even more intriguing now that we know how the surrounding city is like. Time for Georgetown, my second east side university!