Washington, D.C.’s best small-town Independence Day parade was held for the 47th time along MacArthur Boulevard, NW, with local politicians, church groups, associations, Bolivian dancers and just some friends getting together in an antique car. As usual, candy was thrown to the children at the sidewalks, and MacArthur Liquors offered cold juices for the hot and happy day. And, as usual, when you saw the riders from the United Horsemen’s Association of D.C., Md., Penn. and Va., you knew the parade is over.
After the parade was over, many parade-watchers walked to the Palisades Recreation Center on Sherrier Place. On hand were Mayor Vincent C. Gray, councilmembers, government officials, the Palisades Citizens’ Association, the Friends of Palisades Recreation Center and other supporters to cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Palisades Playground, the District’s third playground to be completed under Gray’s Play D.C. Playground Improvement Project, managed by the District’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of General Services.
“Palisades Playground is not only the District’s first ‘imagination playground,’ but it is representative of the rich Native American history that exists in the Palisades community,” Gray said. “One of the main goals of my One City Action Plan is to improve every resident’s quality of life, providing safe and inviting places for our children to play. The renovations and upgrades here at Palisades Playground are an investment in our children, our families, our community and our great city.”
As people left for afternoon barbecues or to get ready to view the fireworks on the National Mall, Gray talked about D.C.’s lack of full representation in Congress and complete self-determination. In D.C.’s case, he said, it is “liberty and justice for some.”
Later, reflecting on Independence Day, Gray said in his weekend radio address, it is “high time for full democracy to come to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who live, literally, within the sight of the Capitol dome. … ‘No Taxation Without Representation’ became a standard rallying cry for American patriots fighting British tyranny.”
“Over two centuries later, there remains one jurisdiction in our country that does not enjoy that freedom,” Gray said. “It is time to free D.C. and end the shameful practice of taxation without representation, once and for all. Our nation’s founding patriots would demand nothing less.”