Are we as different as the stars and stripes on our country’s flag? As divided as the oceans that define our land? I surveyed my fellow concert attendees donned in red and blue rain ponchos. “Are they wearing their party’s colors?”, I whispered to Greg. “Well, if they are, one of us is wearing the wrong color!” A sea of happy faces filled the West Lawn of our nation’s capitol for the 2016 Capitol Fourth concert rehearsal. And then it hit me. There is something we Americans can celebrate with reckless abandon to party lines, Independence Day!
I don’t know what political affiliations the young father sitting next to us embraced but we stood shoulder-to-shoulder, hands on hearts as Alisan Porter sang our National Anthem. People of all ages and color swayed together to Smokey Robinson’s live performance of “My Girl” and rocked it as Kenny Loggins belted out “Footloose”.
Handheld American flags waved as the audience sang along with Jackie Evancho to “God Bless America”. Applause thundered when members of our armed forces filed past carrying the flags of our states and territories. And at the finale, when canons blasted to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, I realized that on that day, we stood united, celebrating the birth of our great country and it gave me hope.
Photos courtesy of Mike Wallace. Due to security regulations, Greg’s camera didn’t make the invitee list!
A special thank you to cousin John, for traveling hours to meet up with us at the “Wallace-Wagstaff Camp”, for arranging a private, ranger guided tour of the Washington D.C. monuments and memorials and reserved concert seating! We so enjoyed spending time with you and catching up. I must confess, your award-winning, home-brewed craft beer may just turn me into a brew-snob!
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