The safest place in the world

Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
Trip End Aug 24, 2008

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Friday, July 4, 2008

The safest place in the world.

DC on the fourth of July. As helicopters buzz overhead police officers scan the crowds for irregular behaviour. I suppose this is a difficult task during the national holiday. Enthusiasts from Alabama greet parading marines. Puerto Ricans cheer for the trumpet band - latino style. Everyone proudly hails the streams of veterans, driven along the National Mall in Ford Mustangs. Just as everyone wants to catch a glimpse of President George Bush as he steps out of Marine One and onto the White House lawn.

Stars & stripes are dominant in any direction I look. I notice families dressed in red, white and blue. I see kids on the street, emphasising the Southern heat and pointing out that they sell cool drinks. I listen to marching bands whistling the national anthem. I distinguish voices that suggest geography and perhaps upbringing. The Southern drawl. The posh sound of Bostonians. Spanish. And the funky African American jive.

This is more than just a celebration. This is American diversity at its best. And simultaneously a nightmarish challenge for thousands of police officers tasked with security. America prevails yet again. No infringement of national security. No breach of the daily order and a splendid treat of organisation and coordination. DC must be the safest place in the world.
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