• 2015.10.16
  • Popular Outdoor Events Hosted by the American Military
Like Japan, the American east coast also has seen a sudden drop in temperature during the day around the autumnal equinox, and it really looks like autumn is here now. Even in Japan, the comfortable seasons of spring and autumn seem to last only a short time and are immediately followed by hot summer and cold winter, but the autumn here is even shorter and the winter feels extremely long. Various outdoor events and concerts are held during the last few weeks of summer as if clinging to the last bit of the season. In this region where the Pentagon is located, as can be expected, there are many military related events. The biggest of such events are the Spirit of America by the U.S. Army and the Air Show by the U.S. Air Force.

Spirit of America has the longest history of the American military’s events, and is participated by over 400 army soldiers on active duty. The event is great for learning American history, with reenactments of the country’s founding to the world wars, Cold War, Vietnam War and War in Afghanistan in order, using the uniforms and weapons of the time.


The show is divided into two parts with Part One covering up to the time around the Civil War and Part Two starting from around the First World War. Both parts included performances of the orchestra and the chorus unit, but especially of interest is the U.S. Army Drill Team’s performance. Throwing bayonet-tipped rifles into the air and catching them as well as passing them back and forth as they stand back-to-back of each other, your heart might beat rapidly for fear of the bayonet falling on someone, but of course they are the best of the best. The elites chosen from around the country surely aren’t going to make mistakes, and they perform with delightful sounds and moves.

Apparently, the Air Show is similar to the ones held by the U.S. military bases in Japan and the Air Self-Defense Force. The main demonstration is that of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds with acrobatic flights of multiple aircrafts, also performed by elite pilots who are the best of the best. There are also displays of surveillance aircrafts and Ospreys.

In order to keep the U.S. military made up of volunteers running, gaining and deepening the understanding of citizens are of key importance. The public transportation can stop frequently during the winter due to large amounts of snow, and anywhere in the world, going outside in the cold can be troublesome. It seemed to me as if they were using every possible means to enjoy the last opportunity for lively outdoor events.


  • Ritsuko Derickson
  • JobStay-at-home mom

Moved to Washington, D.C., in 2012 after getting married. Due to her husband’s work, shortly thereafter they moved to Oahu, Hawaii, then returned to Washington, D.C., in 2015. She lives together with her husband, their son born near the end of 2014 and one Shiba dog.

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