Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Fourth

Last night was amazing. It was one of those nights you know you will never forget and will never be able to fully describe to someone who wasn't there. Our evening started with a slight slip up. We were placed on the wrong bus and accidentally went with the group that was watching the fireworks from the lawn of the capital building. After an hour we straightened things out. Thanks to a very nice police officer, we were able to ride up to the White House and walk through security to join our group without a hitch.

We arrived at the Southeast entrance. We were rushed through security to join our group. We were led up the driveway of the White House. There was ice cream and water off to the side. It was all wrapped in Fourth of July 2007 White House Lawn. Our group was waiting for us at the very front of the house. They had chairs lined up and everything. We were the only group allowed off the lawn. We chatted for a while, took pictures while the light was still good, and waited anxiously for the President to make an appearance. President Bush and the First Lady finally came out to a large applause and a whole lot of screaming. They waved from the balcony and even made sure to acknowledge the presence of the wounded men.

Before long, the sky grew dark and the fun began. They black canvas was alive with color as the fireworks went off. The music played in the background. All of the patriotic songs were included. I cannot explain the pride I felt to be an American at that very moment. Here we were sitting just a few feet from the White House, on the balcony above us stood the President and his family. I wish that every person in our Nation could attend an event like this. To sit on the lawn of the White House and celebrate our country... Amazing.

As the show ended the crowd turned. A very loud happy birthday rang out across the lawn. The President waved and retreated back to the party inside. Within minutes the secret service cleared the lawn. We were asked to stay while they escorted the others away from the area. Supposedly President Bush was going to come say hello.. but that never happened. After an hour or so we were also escorted back to our bus. As we left there were three loud booms. We all stopped dead in our tracks. The fireworks had been done for a while so the noise was very out of place. Our group of soldiers with PTSD stopped and instantly turned to see the last few fireworks be set off. Our moment of panic was over and we were on our way back to the hospital. Tired and hungry we walked back to our rooms still buzzing with excitement over the best Fourth of July ever.

I will say Mr. President, even if I hate your visits to Walter Reed you throw one hell of a party at your house.

Today is not nearly as exciting. As I write and relive last night, I am sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home. Although it's four pm here in D.C. I wont arrive into the cities until late tonight. Hopefully my flights are all on time and my bag makes the trip with me. One flight was just cancelled. Not helping my nerves. This weekend will be crazy busy. The days seem to go so much faster when I'm home in my own apartment. At least it's home though.


Tracy said...

I hope you have a great time at home. It's gonna be hot in WI this weekend, just to warn ya. 90's both Sat and Sun by me, and I think pretty warm over in your part of the state too.

Tracy said...

Meant to say that it sounds like you had a wonderful time at the White House. I'm glad that the wounded soldiers were honored in such a way.