Many thanks to my friend Nicole for sending this one in a few weeks ago.
I'll never forget the first (and to this date, only) time I visited Washington DC.
It was early September 2001 and a large group of my friends (eight of us to be exact) travelled to DC from Birmingham to watch the United States play Honduras in soccer in a World Cup qualifying match. Shockingly, the US ended up losing the game 3-2, but we all still had a great weekend because it was our first trip to the nation's capital.
We visited all of the monuments, The Smithsonian, the National Gallery and all of the stuff you're supposed to do on a first trip to DC.
I remember standing at the base of the Washington Monument with my wife (then fiancee) and surveying the incredible 360-degree view that includes the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol, the White House and the Jefferson Memorial. Taking in this splendid view, my wife remarked, "You know, this city looks really intimidating and strong from here. I can't imagine anyone ever trying to invade it. I just feel so safe."
On Tuesday, September 4th we flew back to Birmingham and as we were leaving Reagan National Aiport, my brother looked out of the window of the plane and remarked "Hey, look how close we are to the Pentagon."
We had no idea that exactly one week later, the city would be attacked and flight paths out of National Airport would be altered so as not to fly so close to the Pentagon.
On this 4th of July weekend, I want to wish all of my fellow Americans a safe and happy holiday. Even though this country is deeply politically divided at present, I think we all more or less have the same desire: for the United States to be the best it can possibly be both within and outside of our borders. Americans, be good to each other and be good neighbors in the international community. So, no matter where you land on the political spectrum, I hope you have a great holiday.
[If you want to send a postcard in to be featured on Postcard Friday, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you where to send it.]