Sunday, July 8, 2012

I'm proud to be an American

What a week it has been to be an American. The 4th of July in the Capital of the nation and the weekend at Valley Forge and Philadelphia, quite amazing.
The Fourth of July began with a reading of the declaration of independence on the steps of the national archives complete with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin. Then we went down constitution ave a little ways to stake out a place under a tree for the Parade. The parade was a good time, lots of bands from all over the country, they had some trouble with balloons though.

In case you don't know what that is it is an octabike (one that 8 people ride)

This was the Hari Khrishna float,
which we don't really know why it was the
 final float of the independence day parade,
but whatever floats your float I guess.
The day rounded off with some all american food at Johnny Rockets and watching the fire works from the edge of the Potomac river at the Jefferson Memorial. We watched them burst over the water with the Lincoln on our left and the Washington on the right. Quite the experience.

On Friday Morning we left for Valley Forge. When we crossed over from Delaware into PA I could actually see Chester and some the streets I walked and houses I knocked on as a missionary. We stayed at the campus of the freedom foundation at valley forge so we went there first and unloaded our stuff and had lunch. In the afternoon we toured the camp via our bus with our tour guide Rob, who came with complete colonial attire.

The place where we stayed, the freedom foundation, has more monuments on its property than I have ever seen, they are everywhere. I'm not quite sure why but they are pretty cool. Here's a couple I saw in the afternoon during some open time.

An acorn

Colorado's medal of honor monument in the medal of honor grove.
 After dinner we had a visit from Ned Hector (reenactor) who was a free black revolutionary war soldier. It was one of the best parts of the trip, he told us of his experience at the battle of the brandywine, taught us how to fire a cannon, and explained to us the untold history of blacks in the revolutionary army where they made up about 10% of the soldiers and had the most integration there would be until the Korean war.

The next day in the morning I took a walk and looked at some of more of the monuments.

Then we had breakfast and it was off to Philly! I was so excited. I got to do a lot of things in Philly that I hadn't seen as a missionary. We went to the Constitution center for two presentations, toured independence hall, and saw the Liberty Bell. I also saw the location of Benjamin Franklins house and grave and a model of his printing press, and ate a real philly cheesesteak at the Reading Market. I was sad to have to leave the city of Brotherly love when the day was over.

Outside Independence Hall (the old state house)

Signing the Constitution

Me and my old pal Ben

The original pay phone used by the founding fathers

Me in the old court room

The place it all went down in 76 and 87

The Liberty bell

Ben's printing press
Well it was a great week, and I am proud to be an American.

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