The summer before my junior year my family planned a trip to our country’s great capital, Washington D.C. We were leaving on Independence Day, bright and early to arrive in D.C. with enough time to watch the fireworks. Upon our arrival before getting out of the airport, I was already stunned by the terminal with all its massive tunnels and stores. Once we got out to the bus stops, we realized we were over dressed for the humidity in our comfy wear of sweats and t-shirts.
The city was exciting. Monuments towered over tourists. There was a Starbucks on every street. The Capitol building, the Washington Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums and the history that was in this city were all breathtaking for my family. The day we got there we walked up and down the Mall, where they were having an ethnic festival. After looking around a little we walked to the Washington Memorial and sat down to watch the fireworks that were going to be set off that night. We played games and talked about how our summer was going. It began to rain so we packed up our Phase 10 cards and headed for shelter.
To get out of the rain we went to the Lincoln Memorial which was so much bigger than I could have ever imagined. I had seen pictures in history books but those illustrations were poor compared to the real thing. My mom, dad, and I were looking at Lincoln and taking photos when we realized that my brother, Austin, had disappeared. It became our mission to find him; my mom didn’t think it would be smart to let a thirteen year old run around with all the people there. We looked everywhere for him. We also realized the dangers of losing someone. Eventually we found him, and then he had to hold on to Mom’s hand the rest of the night.
We got settled down on the platform between the two sets of stairs and waited for the celebration to start. I had the camera in hand because I am the photographer of the family and had to capture every moment of this trip. Once the fireworks started I realized that our camera was faulty and it refused to photograph them. They were the best fireworks I had ever seen. The sky was filled with bright blue, red and white lights right above the Washington Monument. The ground beneath us was slightly damp but it didn’t seem to bother anyone, we were too busy looking up at the light show. Sitting there on the Lincoln Memorial watching the fireworks was the most moving thing I have ever done. I simply knew that this Independence Day would be the greatest one that I would ever experience.
That was just my first day in our nation’s capital and I had learned so much and saw so much in just the short twelve hours that I was there. I saw where our nation’s history is stored and praised. I was only there shortly but I never felt the same way about our capital, it was no longer a far away city to me.
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