"Thomas Jefferson" looks on as "Benjamin Franklin" reads the Declaration of
Independence on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
This year, they brought a veteran of World War II to read the last part of the Declaration, and filmmaker Ken Burns talked about his upcoming World War II documentary, The War, which recounts the war from soldiers who fought it. I heard no mention of any active war going on, or of any of the men and women fighting in it. Iraq already seems like a war we're fighting to forget.
Rockets red glare light up the boats on the Potomac River during the
At around 5 p.m., a lightning storm prompted police to evacuate the open areas of the Mall and the Marine Corps Memorial. Officers asked picnickers and others staking out seats for the concert and fireworks to seek shelter in the various museums and memorials. The storm passed through after about an hour, and the 8 p.m. concert at the Capitol began on time, as did the fireworks an hour later. Last year we watched the fireworks from the Lincoln Memorial. This year, we were able to enjoy the view from our home in Rosslyn.
The fireworks show was great, as usual, but this year I thought it was marred a bit by two orbiting police helicopters, one to the east of the Mall and one to the west. Security was visibly tighter this year, the terror tenor of our times.
And to put another damper on an otherwise perfect evening, three men who put on the fireworks display were hurt and burned, one seriously, when unexploded fireworks went off about 15 minutes after the finale. I was still looking toward the Lincoln Memorial and saw two or three fireworks explode at ground level. May the injured fireworkers recover fully.