July is probably the most patriotic month in the United States, and Washington, DC, is most definitely a place for all things Red, White, and Blue in the summer time! Fireworks on the 4th aside, there is just a plethora of sights, sounds, and activities to crank up your Love Of Country.
We didn’t head downtown for the fireworks on the 4th this year, but we have had a chance to take in several other cool things this July. One of our highlights this month was attending the Evening Parade at 8th and I, Marine Barracks Washington, DC. This is a free event, but you need reservations. The evening ceremony begins at 8:45 PM and lasts until approximately 10 PM. There are numerous restaurants around the “Oldest Post of the Corps,” so plan to make a fun summer evening of it.'Why Not?' get your patriotic heart pumping at the Evening Parade at 8th & I? #oldestpostofthecorps Click To Tweet
The Home of the Commandants of the Marine Corps, which was built in 1801-1806 and is a registered historical landmark, is adjacent to the Barracks, also built in 1801.
Originally measuring just 25 by 32 feet, the home now boasts 15,000 square feet and over 30 rooms (not counting closets or baths!). I wanted to leave the Parade itself, as impressive as it was, and tour the home, but somehow I don’t think my ticket would have worked there. 😉
The entire Parade ceremony is very impressive from beginning to end. You will hear concerts by both “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and “The Commandant’s Own” United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite! Of course you will meet LCpl. Chesty XIII, the official mascot of Marine Barracks Washington, and be awed by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. The precision and sound of the Silent Drill Platoon is a-maz-ing!
As the ceremony drew to a close and the band played The Star Spangled Banner, the air was painfully still and the flag hung limp. Slowly the breezes picked up during the song, and just at the end, the flag billowed in a gust of wind. That did make this patriotic heart flutter (and I may or may not have gotten a little misty…)!
Thank you so much to our friends Darryl and Bette and the Navy League for letting us Air Force peeps tag along on your night out to the Marine Barracks! Who says there is such a thing as “inter-service rivalry”? 😉
The city may be full of politics and power plays by day, but the view of those monuments, especially at night, is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices on which this country was built.
DC monuments after dark - where politics & power plays give way to poignant reminders of great personal sacrifice. Click To Tweet
It is impossible to walk along the Vietnam Wall and not feel the overwhelming loss of each person whose name is written there. Or to stand in the Lincoln Memorial and not grasp the dream that President Lincoln had for this country, and the pain of seeing it torn apart.
And if you are lucky, it will have rained enough that day to create a mist rising from the ground around the Korean War Memorial, and you will feel as though you are walking through the damp with the men portrayed there.
After so much patriotic activity, the night must end on an equally impressive note. Make sure this pie is waiting at home for a midnight snack! As soon as I saw this from Diane at AnExtraordinaryDay.com, I knew I had to make it! It could not be any easier or any cuter!
Have you ever been to the Evening Parade at 8th and I, or seen the DC monuments after dark? Comment below with some of your favorite patriotic activities!
And if you live in the DC area and have not taken advantage of this beautiful city at night, or if it has been a while, “Why Not?” get down there soonest for an awe-inspiring evening? Please share your photos and experiences with me on Facebook or Twitter or right here in the comments!
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