Roll #23: Salute to America

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

On July 4th 2019, I took a train from BWI to Union Station in Washington D.C. to witness what was billed as "the show of a lifetime". I wasn't there to protest. I wasn't there to support. I was merely there to observe and be a part of this historic event. For better or worse I was going to Salute to America.

Throughout the day the presence of Americans along the entire spectrum of pro- or anti-Trump reminded me of the unique privilege we have to live in a nation where we are free to express our opinions, biases, and convictions, without censorship or restraint.

The Pros and Antis collided early and often throughout the day. Like oil and water, their attempts to mingle were futile. Obscene gestures and foul language only widened the chasm between the factions.

It was terrible.

It brought out the worst in many.

In some, it brought out the best.

Altogether, it was actually quite beautiful.

Similar to the firework show later that evening, I'll be setting my images to music. So sit back, relax and enjoy some black and white photographs to the tune of America the Beautiful.

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.

Oh, beautiful for pilgrim feet,

Whose stern, impassioned stress

A thoroughfare of freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

America! America!

God mend thine ev’ry flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law.

Oh, beautiful for heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness,

And ev’ry gain divine.

Oh, beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam,

Undimmed by human tears!

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.


Camera: Canon Sure Shot Z115

Film: Kentmere 100

When: July 4, 2019

Where: Washington, D.C.

Song: America the Beautiful by Katherine Lee Bates (text) and Samuel A. Ward (music)

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