Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

A couple of images, if you please, to capture the exuberance and the solemnity that are intertwined on our Independence Day.
First, the "bombs bursting in air" last night over the Potomac River. This view of the National Harbor program is from Alexandria's Founder's Park with the Wilson Bridge in the foreground. A thunderstorm had passed by headed southeast, about 45 minutes before and more than a few times "the rockets' red glare" was complemented by flashes of lightning in the clouds. It was a scene both unforeseeable and unsurpassable!
This morning, Patricia and I spent a couple of hours walking the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, which occupies a commanding height that overlooks our capital.

We stopped to view the Eternal Flame at John Kennedy's grave. We watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns, as the Sentinels of the 3rd Infantry Division expressed on behalf of us all the incredible respect owed to our nation's fallen. And we visited Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee, where we could reflect that the ultimate use of his lands is fitting and proper indeed.

These thoughts and images aren't about aviation but rather, about the land where our love of aviation can be freely expressed in ways not possible anywhere else in the world. Freedom is cause for celebration and also demanding of reflection. Its price is often dear, but it allows us to soar beyond the heights we could reach without it.

NASA image posted elsewhere by Astronaut Doug Wheelock.

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