Washington, DC, USA
What I Did On My Summer Vacation
by Jean Wyatt (5th grade)
This summer I went with my mother and father to the beach. We saw the rocks and seashells and I went swimming almost every day, even though it rained some and was kind of cold. Then it was very sad because on the 4th of July we went to the National Mall for a picnic and fireworks and there was a man there giving a speech at the Lincoln and Lee Memorial. Daddy says his name was Malcolm X, but he was born with a different name. We tried to have our picnic but he had a microphone and was very loud, and there were a lot of people shouting. He talked about black people and Indians and white people, and how black and Indian men wouldn't be hired by white people and couldn't feed their families, and black and Indian children couldn't go to the same schools as white children, and how the government should tax the white people and give the money to the blacks and Indians.
I guess this made people angry because then I heard a gunshot, though Daddy says it might have been a fireworks going off early. And suddenly then there were a lot of policemen everywhere and soldiers, and Daddy had brought his gun with him even though it was against the law to have a gun on the Mall, to protect us, and there were a lot more gunshots. We wanted to hide, but in the big grassy field there was nowhere to go. Daddy said for me and Mommy to stay down and Mommy lay down on top of me to protect me and I think she saved my life because there was a lot of gunshots and screaming and I was very scared and I heard Daddy shouting that we had to go, we had to run, but Mommy didn't move. So Daddy picked her up and held my hand and we ran as fast as we could and the police catched us and took us away, and I was so glad to get away from the noise. We went to the hospital but Mommy was dead.
So then we had the funeral and my grandparents were there, but I missed my Mommy a lot. Grandma Wyatt stayed for a while to help Daddy but she is pretty old now. I love her though. And a little later we took a trip to Wallowa to visit Mommy's family, it was in the desert and very pretty. I think I like the desert better than anywhere else in the world, it is very quiet.