We spent our 4th of July in the nation's capitol and it was amazing. We went to a parade in the morning. Nicole loved it, but the kids and I thought it was just like any other parade. Nicole and I (mostly Nicole) had an interesting conversation with some college students from England who were impressed at how our nation was so united around its identity as a nation. They mentioned that the only thing that they had that united them was football (i.e., soccer to us yanks). I had never thought of how other countries view our patriotism. I just assumed that all countries were patriotic and this does not seem to be the case.
After being stuck in the National Museum of Natural History because of a tornado warning we made our way to the national mall (which really isn't a mall as we would refer to it, i.e., as a shopping center) for the fireworks show. We sat in the grass between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial in front of the reflecting pool. Rebekkah made a friend from Michigan and they played as we waited for the show. Micah played with an annoying little girl who kept screaming as they chased eachother around playing tag.
I (Doug) have not historically been very patriotic, but man the experience was indescribable. I got choked up more than a few times as the patriotic music played in our ears with the memorials and fireworks in our eyes. The booms of the fireworks were so deep that you could feel it in your core. I was very thankful for our freedoms and extremely proud of our heritage as a nation. Here are some pictures: