I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer so far and have managed to stay cool on these hot days. As we take these summer days to relax with our friends and families and enjoy the beautiful holidays and fun summer parties, we begin to look towards fall and winter and getting back to busi- ness. Our July break marked the half-way point of the year, and, I must admit, it feels like it is flying by. I’ve enjoyed being in the East thus far and have really enjoyed seeing everyone continue to develop and take pride in their Lodge. We still have many important meetings in the second half of the year, and I hope everyone can come out and help us continue to grow, both as a Lodge and as Masons.
I wanted to quickly share about my experience walking in the National Mall Independence Day Parade that took place on the Fourth of July. My son and I met up with Masons from across the jurisdiction and marched under the title of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia. We carried a large inflated American Flag balloon that may have gotten away from us once or twice, but, as we know, overcoming struggle brings folks closer together. It was a great bonding experience, and I got to meet many Broth- ers from different lodges. Although it was hot, we were provided plenty of water, and it was fun walk- ing in the parade, being part of the balloon inflation phase, and watching the other balloons being in- flated and correctly oriented. This was a much more rewarding experience as opposed to sitting on the sidelines. I felt proud to be an American and proud to be representing such a patriotic community, Free And Accepted Masons of DC.
Also, during the Fourth weekend, my son and I attended a fireworks show that was held at George Washington’s home, Mt. Vernon. This was a ticketed event which made for a slightly more intimate viewing of the fireworks overlooking the Potomac River. Our Illustrious Brother George Washington and his wife Martha made an appearance and spoke to the group for about 10 minutes prior to the fire- work show from his back patio. They spoke about the Revolutionary War and how they were spending those days in July back in 1774-76. We also took a tour of the Mansion and grounds. If you have not been to Washington’s Mansion and Mt. Vernon, I highly recommend it. Being a Mason, I felt proud and a part of Washington’s legacy. The ideals he fought for are still relevant today, and we, as Masons, are carrying on his legacy every day through the men we are in society and in our homes with our fami- lies.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone in at the St. John’s lodge family picnic and the next stated communication.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
James S. Parkhurst