I’ve lived in DC for several years now. One thing I haven’t done in those years is to watch the fireworks on July 4 from the Mall. Sure, I’ve seen the fireworks before. My first year here I went to Arlington, VA to watch the fireworks (and other shows in the surrounding area) from the Iwo Jima memorial. And in other years, when I’ve been here and it hasn’t rained, I caught some of the display from the streets or from rooftops.

But always I’ve figured watching from the Mall was something I would have to do at least once. My friend and I got down to the Washington monument a little over an hour before the show was scheduled to start, and found a comfortable spot at the base of the monument, with the heat-hazy view of the Capitol behind us.

And the fireworks show was definitely worth it. I could only lament not having gone in years past and will be sure to make it in the years to come. The fireworks were big, loud and colorful, and not to mention that we were there next to the Washington Monument. I think we were in the perfect spot, because we also didn’t see the renovation work going on over the reflecting pool (in terms of picture-perfect spots). I wasn’t ready for the show to be over when the shapes started coming, and coming faster. And even walking home…I was kind of ready for the next show.

That’s also not to forget that there was a beautiful full moon on the walk home, and the sounds of more fireworks across the distance.

Happy Birthday America! You know how to celebrate.


Patricia returned to Texas after spending several years on both coasts. She's a writer, amateur photographer and traveler.

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