Fourth of July Recap

South steps of America's capitol.

A menu you don't see in St. George

In front of the Navy Memorial to pay tribute to my brother, a Navy officer on his way to Afghanistan in a few weeks, as a doctor for the Marines.

Masses of people. And this was just the dress rehearsal!

Sisters waiting for the concert

In 2009, dreams came true! It has always been my mom's dream to be at the Capitol for the Fourth of July concert

Capitol Fourth. Performers: Natasha Bedingfield, Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin and more

Aretha Franklin at the dress rehearsal. Yep she showed up in levi capris, tennies and a Mickey Mouse T-shirt

Janna pulled out all stops. This tart looks good, but tasted even better!

Family gathering at the most incredible fireworks this small town girl has ever seen!

My beautiful mother, enjoying her grandkids before the firework show

Girls at the firework show: LL, Ms. Fish, K, and Janna

Front porch with my brother's kids

Taking the footpath between my brother and sister's house

I spent the days surrounding the Fourth of July in the Nation's capitol and the Commonwealth. I couldn't ask for a more powerful and meaningful way to celebrate America's birthday.

On the morning of the Fourth, we drove to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, and witnessed an inspiring Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony. 66 people from all across American gained citizenship.

Monticello: Home of Thomas Jefferson

Here is their oath. We should all be so inclined to pledge similarly.

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreing prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen' that I will support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion: So help me God.

Besides the focus on America, the trip was to help my sister move into her new Virginian home as she begins her anesthesia residency. We unpacked boxes, ate, shopped, toured, walked, ate, rode the metro, ate, walked, laughed, took the car to a shop, walked in circles, ate and talked.

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