Philadelphia, PA

On Tuesday following Memorial Day, we moved on to New Jersey, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, first home of our capital.

We decided Philadelphia has the worst traffic, and is the hardest place to maneuver around; and we were in the Jeep!  In spite of that, we thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Independence National Historic Park. We needed a timed ticket to visit the Independence Hall, so we visited the visitor center, which now houses the Liberty Bell.

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It was a highlight to actually see the icon of freedom, the Liberty Bell.  It was a lot smaller than I had imagined it to be.

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During the Revolutionary War, Congress met in Philadelphia, the largest and richest city in America at the time. It became the temporary capital until the capital in DC was completed, 10 years later.

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The tour also included Congress Hall where I was sworn in as president, in the same spot George Washington was sworn in for his second term, and I did not even have to show my birth certificate!!dscn4693a
and the Great Essentials, an exhibit of the countries most valuable papers:  The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Articles of Confederation.  But the pictures I took came out too blurry to see.  This picture I got off the park service site.
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We were disappointed the Second Bank of the United States was closed the day we were there.  It houses a Portrait Gallery of presidents as well as others from the revolutionary period.

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Not only is Philadelphia the home of the Second Bank, but it is also home of the First Bank of the United States, established in 1791. The building was built in 1797.
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The Quaker Meeting House was located just across the street from Benjamin Franklin’s grave.
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The closest home on this row of houses was once occupied by John and Dolley Todd until his death.  She later married future president James Madison.
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So close to Washington’s Crossing and Valley Forge, we visited them as well:  Until next Blog…..

Memorial Day in Washington D.C.

Twice a year, there are two weeks between projects, created due to the way the first Friday falls.  Typically it is once in the spring and once in the fall.
This year it fell between our May and June jobs.  So after our Baltimore, MD, job in May, we headed for Washington DC for Memorial Day weekend.  
It was such a pleasure to be in the capitol city!  Since we have been to Washington before, we have seen the typical landmarks; so this time, we wanted to just enjoy the ambiance of the city.
There were several wreath laying events we could have gone to, but chose these two events to highlight our weekend in DC.

On Sunday night we attended the National Memorial Concert on the west lawn of the Capitol building. 
(I think the capitol building was under renovation last time we were here, too !)
It was  a very moving concert, with stories to honor those injured during the war as well as those who died.
The following day, we attended the National Memorial Day Parade. The parade was a chronological display of wars America has fought, from the American Revolutionary War, right on up to today’s military.
Although there is not pictures of everything in the parade, these pictures represent a few of the displays.
The parade started with an Honor Guard
American Revolution was represented in part by  George Washington
War of 1812 was represented by a band…I did not get a picture of any of the 14 high school bands from all over.  There was even one from a blind school in Ohio!
Civil War
And even Abe showed up!
We were at the very beginning of the parade, and the VIP stand was right across from us, so we were able to hear the musical salutes and a special musical performance by the Smashing Pumpkins.
The missing Idaho potato was also part of the entertainment.
World War I was represented by General Black Jack John Pershing
The 70th anniversary of the Victory of World War II was being Celebrated
Sgt. Reckless was a tribute to the Korean war’s most famous war horse

Vietnam war

and today’s military, platoons from all 5 services.
There were so many displays of patriotism,  and being there was a great experience.  It reminded us of how great this country really is.