Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery

Yesterday was such an amazing day to be in Washington, DC.  Amidst sunny blue skies, Space Shuttle Discovery circled the city three times atop a 747 in a farewell flight, before joining the Smithsonian Family.  I am so glad I was able to join the thousands on the Mall to pay homage to our nation's history.

I couldn't believe how incredibly low the shuttle was flown.  The plane (and the accompanying fighter jet bodyguard) was so low, you could feel the rumbling of the jets.  And my fears of just seeing the underside of a 747 were completely unfounded - the shuttle was so easy to see. 

What a sight it was.  We would hear shrieks from crowds in various spots around the city, as the shuttle came into view.  We would look towards the noise - and sure enough, a small blip at first getting closer and closer.  At times, the shuttle looked like it was about to hit the Washington Monument - it was that close in such otherwise restricted air space.  The shuttle would disappear behind trees, only to pop out again for another viewing.  Spectacular. 

It was especially poignant for me to see such an important part of American history fly by the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian Castle, and the Capitol.  I'm sure people along streets and rooftops all over the city saw similarly spectacular sights of the shuttle passing the White House, National Archives, Treasury Department and so many other government icons.

I devote every day to protecting and preserving our nation's cultural history.  What an amazing experience to actually watch history fly over my head.  It was a great day.

Photos taken by a friend, perched atop the Department of Justice building for the occasion.  My camera appears to be missing, and my iPhone shots were... not great.