Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Today, July 4th, is the 235th anniversary of the day the Continental Congress adopted our Declaration of Independence. There is much more here and here.

In one very interesting way I began being touched when I went to St. Alban's Episcopal Church on Sunday, June 26th. I went because I was invited. People at St. Alban's are involved in all kinds of things -- including the DC art scene. That Sunday they celebrated St. Alban's Day. The service concluded with a hymn sung to honor St. Alban. The music was the Battle Hymn of the Republic. I was especially moved by that. Oh -- that is the artist in me speaking.

I found out about an organ recital -- those words do not begin to convey the wonderful concert I heard about at Washington National Cathedral some days ago. Today I went. The concert began with Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" followed by the National Anthem. The concert concluded with Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever." After the concert I wandered through the gift shop and purchased "America the Beautiful" by the Choirs of Washington National Cathedral. I can now actually claim I own a CD of patriotic American music.

For my English cousins, I will now repeat a story I read a number of years ago. An Englishwoman claimed that the English had never lost a war. An American challenged her on that, noting the outcome of the American Revolution. She simply replied "English colonists fighting for English rights against a German king!" I'm still learning history. It's a relatively new interest for me. David Howarth concluded his book "1066: The Year of the Conquest" with this paragraph:

Yet those children, or their children, won a victory in the end. They never became Norman; they remained most stubbornly English, absorbed the invaders and made of the mixture a new kind of Englishness.

The history of 1066 is very depressing. What William the Bastard and his men did to England is unspeakable. Still, though, those words ring true for me, the American who is descended from fine English people on both sides of my family.

Soon I will leave for a concert in Greenbelt. I had planned to spend this evening in DC photographing the fireworks display. The weather currently is less than good. There might be thunderstorms. For obvious reasons I do not want to risk my fancy camera in such weather. I just paid $255 to get it fixed. I don't want to damage the camera. The last repair, I am told, was normal. Modern technology does have its drawbacks.

No comments: