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Archive for July 4th, 2007

flag2.gifSome think there are no coincidences, that all events are part of a plan, lessons to be learned. A trip my husband and I once took was peppered with coincidences. We had left a day early for a convention; he because he is so punctual, and me, because I was secretly plotting to get bumped and snag two free round-trip tickets. As we waited for a connecting flight in the standing-room-only gate at Reagan International in Washington, D.C., the desk clerk asked for volunteers to be bumped. I had earlier edged us toward the desk and we were first to accept the offer.

Within an hour we boarded — not a plane — but decrepit taxi, unbelievably hot, noisy and dirty. I questioned my brilliant plan, but only for a moment because suddenly we became distracted by the scene whizzing by the windows. The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial — the Capitol appeared — stirring and startling in real life.

Arriving in Baltimore Harbor, we discovered that Fort McHenry was only a water-taxi ride from the convention hotel. As we gazed on the tattered, aged flag that inspired Francis Scott Key’s “Star Spangled Banner,” scenes from a dirty cab window rushed back. My mercenary plan had become so much more. It was a real history lesson that left us feeling very patriotic.

And when did these coincidental brushes with history take place? On the most meaningful 4th of July of our lives.

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