Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to the crowds along the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site parade route. Photo: Tami A. Heilemann - Office of Communications
The U.S. Park Police Motorcycle Unit passes the inaugural parade reviewing stand. Photo: Tami A. Heilemann - Office of Communications
The U.S. Park Police Honor Guard passes the inaugural parade reviewing stand. Photo: Tami A. Heilemann - Office of Communications
U.S. Park Police Horse Mounted Unit passes the inaugural parade reviewing stand. Photo: Tami A. Heilemann - Office of Communications
First Lady Michelle and President Barack Obama wave during the inaugural parade. Photo: Tami A. Heilemann - Office of Communications
Vice President Joe Biden applauds during the inaugural parade. Photo: Tami A. Heilemann - Office of Communications
Officer John Lynch of NY Field Office stands watch during the inaugural parade. Photo: Robert Turner U.S. Park Police
Last edited 7/30/2015
President Barack Obama was sworn-in for his second term Jan. 20, with a public celebration and a repeat of his oath of office on Jan. 21.
The National Park Service has been at the center of planning presidential inaugurations for more than 70 years. The NPS is responsible for the care, maintenance and preservation of some of the most important locations used during inaugurations, from the National Mall to the inaugural Parade route to the site of the Presidential reviewing stand. Two National Parks- President's Park and the National Mall and Memorial Parks- play a role in the event.
The NPS also works in a support role to the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) , the Armed Forces Inaugural Committe (AFIC) and the Joint Congressional Committe on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC).