July 3, 1863 Gettysburg … July 4, 2017 just north of Washington, DC

poor georgie’s almanack:

Tonight, for the first Independence Day since moving into our 9th floor vantage point, the night sky was clear and the breeze was gentle. We felt like the observers in the Gettysburg Church steeple July 3,1863. We fantasized that Pickett’s Charge, the climatic conclusion of arguably the most important Civil War battle, had just commenced.

We heard booms of artillery in the mid-and-far distances. The sky was afire from a major battle ten miles due south at the National Mall. In a 160-degree arc anchored near the Mall’s Lincoln Monument, then snaking east from D.C. through nearby Maryland suburbs and north to Gaithersburg we counted eight smaller but intense battles. There were even more intermittent skirmishes, maybe around schools and back yards.

While the smoke of war languidly floated toward us, scattered low-hanging clouds were temporarily awash in the blazing glory of colorful explosions.

War, we are told, is hell. But on this very day, July 4, 2017, as nuclear Armageddon lurks just beyond the Pacific horizon, the fantasy of old fashioned death and destruction is breathtakingly beautiful.