This weekend Wellsboro Area High School’s 9th grade Honors English & History classes took a two-day field trip to Washington D.C. During the trip, the group went to the Library of Congress, National Archives, Kennedy Center, Arlington National Cemetery, Ford’s Theater, and the main monuments.
Library of Congress
The library of Congress was really interesting. That is, if you are a book nerd like me. We got to see Thomas Jefferson’s Library, which was all of his old books that he gave to the government. However, most of the books were burned in a fire so there were some that weren’t actually his. The actual Library itself was huge. Sadly, we couldn’t go inside since you had to be 16 and have a card.
The National Archives had a ton of different exhibits to look around. There were ones based on equality, and Indian Removal. The best part was probably the circular hall which held information about the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and The Constitution. However, the room was extremely crowded and hard to see the documents since they are light sensitive.
If you are into the preforming arts, this was a dream. The entire place was beautiful and you could only imagine all the different shows. However, the best part was the roof. You could see the entire skyline of the city and we went as the sun was setting. It was a beautiful sight.
Arlington National Cemetery
This was my favorite part of the entire trip. It was so beautiful but it was so sad. There was sections of the cemetery for each war and almost every section was perfectly lined up. Towards the beginning, we went to the to John F. Kennedy’s burial site. In the middle him and his wife were buried. On the sides, his children were buried. At the top, there was an eternal flame in his memory. After that, we went and saw the changing of the guard. It was beautiful how in sync in was. At the time, I didn’t know women weren’t allowed to be part of Honored Guard until about 5 years ago. However, the commander was a woman. It was beautiful.
Ford’s Theater was very interesting also. First, we took our seats inside the theater and listened as a ranger talked about what happened that night. Then, we went across the street and walked through the house where Lincoln’s last moments were spent. It was really interesting how it all happened and what happened after Lincoln died.
The main monuments were amazing. When I had seen the white house in other pictures, I thought the main sidewalk to walk past it was closer than it actually was. We were pretty far away from where the white house was.
The Lincoln Memorial was really cool too. I knew it was big, but I guess I really didn’t know how big. I wasn’t even taller than the pedestal! Above Lincoln, the words “In this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the union. The memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.”
From Lincoln’s steps, you could see the Washington Monument. Another misconception I had, was that the water pool went to right underneath the monument but actually has a lot of space between them.
Last main one, was the Vietnam Memorial. It was a huge wall that had thousands of names. It was crazy how many there are. At the end, there was a census of who died there. I looked up my grandmother’s maiden name and shockingly got a lot of them. When I asked my family about it, they had no idea if I was related to them or not but I did find it interesting.
All in all, Washington D.C. was beautiful and a fun experience. I met a lot of friends the entire atmosphere itself is really inspiring. I hope to go back again when I get older and check out some of the museums. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.