Yesterday, we woke up at 4 am, and we didn't know that a hard walking day was waiting for us. First, we got dropped off at the airport; all of us were excited about the trip. At the airport, some people got breakfast, and others just stayed reading. We were really tired! As we arrived in Washington, we got dropped off at the Smithsonian American History Museum. We stayed for an hour at the museum in which we were able to see exhibitions and learn about the American presidents, the First Ladies, and the wars that the US joined (among other things). The First Ladies dresses were gorgeous and elegant!
As our trip finished at the museum, we walked back to the US Department of Agriculture building (and that was just the beginning of our walking day) and had lunch at their amazing cafeteria. After we recharged our batteries, we headed to the Holocaust Museum in which we saw a huge exhibition about the horrible genocide that happened during World War II. We recalled what we learned about World War II, saw heartbreaking photos about what the Jews suffered, learned facts about the Holocaust, and got to know stories from the ones who survived it.
After that, we went to another beautiful but sad place: the Arlington National Cemetery. We marveled at its beauty and learned about its fascinating history, dating all the way back to George Washington and also being tied into Robert E. Lee and his family. We also saw the changing of the guards ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier. The guards who did it were very good at their jobs. They had very specific motions that they completed at the exact right time, and their uniforms were without a single spot or wrinkle. The other thing about the Arlington National Cemetery – it was a lot of walking uphill! We were exhausted by the end.
Luckily, after a short stop at the Marine Corps memorial, we went to dinner. We went to a mall (not the national mall, just a mall) and got to eat in the food court and explore the stores (Surprise! They were just like the ones in malls everywhere.) We thought we were done after that, but it turned out there was more to see. We began by going to the Vietnam War memorial and the Korean War memorial, which were haunting in both their beauty and how sad they were. Seeing the names and faces of the people lost to those wars reflected in the black, glassy walls that each of them featured was a very sobering experience. However, from there we went to the Lincoln Memorial, and that was a different story. We approached the plaza with the Washington monument and the reflective pool before it on one side and the Lincoln Memorial on the other. As I stared up at the huge structure, I became so excited that when we were free to split up and take pictures, I raced up the steps. Inside it was warmly lit, and the huge stone statue of Lincoln and pillars made it feel sturdy. It was so beautiful, and it made my heart swell with love for this country and its history.
Finally, we got to go to the hotel for the night. We were wiped out! It had been a long, eventful 17 hours.
- Gabriela & Jojo
A blog by various Alcuin staff members.