Independence Day: Celebrating liberty in the nation’s capital

Roughly 2,000 people sat along the National Mall in Washington D.C. (the grassy park which runs for two miles from the U. S. Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial) to watch the fireworks display over the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

Funky oversized sunglasses, red visors and families adorned in matching shirts, were just some of the eye-catching features along the grass filled mall as picnic blankets saved seats for each party, most of them dressed in the nation’s colors.

Photo courtesy of David Severi

Everyone was gathered to celebrate the most important day in U.S. history, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, penned primarily by founding father Thomas Jefferson. 245 years ago today the United States was born.

Celebrating America’s independence in a period of such divisiveness in the country can seem inappropriate, but it is important to celebrate just how far the country has come. Even though racism does exist in America today. 

Still, everyone attending the day’s festivities on the Mall were in patriotic spirits. About a half dozen young women, college students most likely, enthusiastically sang Katy Perry’s song Firework:

“Just own the night

Like the Fourth of July

‘Cause baby you’re a firework

Come on and show them what you’re worth.”

Some of the women even had good pitch.

Close to my family’s spot, a father got what must be awe-inspiring pictures of his two little boys waving American flags while silhouetted against the fireworks above the Lincoln Memorial. The family spoke an Eastern European language we could not recognize. These were the kind of photos which will live in family scrapbooks for generations.

It was a refreshing change of pace from the year before. In 2020, there were no celebrations on the National Mall because of the pandemic. It still was not as big as 2003, when I last spent the fourth in Washington at eight years old, but as the local news reporter gushed “There were crowds again!” 

Continue following this blog this summer as I visit important historic places near the nation’s capital.

Some stories this summer will include: Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home), Monticello (Jefferson’s home), and Colonial Williamsburg.

To follow my life as an intern this summer, follow me on social media:

Twitter: @MistySeveri

Facebook: Misty In America

Instagram: @QueenoftheMistys (personal)

                 @PhotosbyMistyJade (professional).

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