In addition, students Caitlyn Bowser, Elizabeth Pich, Megan Wilder and Michael Hotseller had the privilege to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. They earned the honor by writing an essay that explained why they would best represent the school during the ceremony.
The school annually takes pupils to Washington because organizer Lee Ann Blazer said there is more to learning than sitting at a desk inside a classroom. “We believe that in order to become more well-rounded citizens, our students need to go out into the world and experience diversity and culture. This experience exposes them to museums, memorials, history, culture, diversity, and learning in a real-world context.”
“This trip provides important historical contexts into the foundation of our country and our freedoms that our students need to see and hear,” she said.
“Our students were impressed with the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery, and they were awed by the size and beauty of the Washington National Cathedral. The children listened intently to our tour guide as he gave many details and interesting historical facts about the construction and purpose of this majestic building.
“Many eighth-graders were looking forward to visiting the Holocaust Museum because we invested so much time studying it this year. Emotions ran high during our visit. Chaperones reported that our students moved through the museum in near silence watching, listening and reading the different exhibit labels.”
Of the monuments visited, Blazer said she thinks the students were most impacted by the Lincoln Memorial. “It was a beautiful day, and at 19 feet seated, Lincoln is impressive! Students were exhausted but dug deep and found enthusiasm to create hilarious selfies and some great shots from the top of the memorial.”