Posted by Timothy Moore - 22 March, 2012


Eerie. Words can not describe today in D.C. The day started off wet, rainy, and yucky; Arlington did not change it.

We arrived at Arlington about 9 a.m., still very overcast. After paying our respects to the Kennedy gravesite, we witnessed one of the most moving events in many students' lives. A funeral, for a military serviceman started. The soldiers with the drums and other instruments were playing some of the most patriotic songs ever; they were soon followed by the line of family friends.

Once the line of cars stopped, we heard three artillery fires, a truly amazing event. Ninety 8th graders sitting in a trolley watching a military funeral in the drizzling  rain. It was an eerie event to say the least.

After we observed the changing of the guard, which is another event we should never forget, we left Arlington and traveled to the Iwo Jima memorial. One of the, if not the, most famous American war scenes was depicted in the Iwo Jima memorial. Six young soldiers hoisted the stars and stripes flag over the island of Iwo Jima. It was an awesome memorial.

After seeing the Iwo Jima memorial, we went to Pentagon City Mall . It was fun, but nothing too educational. Following the mall experience, we then went to Mount Vernon, the home of our First President and country's founding father, George Washington. Mount Vernon was preserved just as Washington left it when he died in 1799. Although none of the high-end artifacts remained in the house, the house was still an amazing sight.

To end the night, we played History Bowl. History Bowl is very similar to Jeopardy except all the questions were about D.C. history. This week in D.C. was so much fun, although we did not always get to do what we wanted when we wanted, we all left happy. In my opinion, not only will we never forget this experience,  but our grade truly formed a closer bond on this trip.

Arlington Cemetery and Iwo Jima are both memorials to groups of people. Mount Vernon is a memorial to one man. Which did you find more inspiring and why?

Zoey said, "Both memorials inspired me to learn more about the soldiers in the U.S. Seeing a funeral procession today made me realize how lucky I am to still have my family with me and it makes me want to never take anything for granted."

Megan said, "I found Mount Vernon more inspiring because I think George Washington was one of the most amazing men in American history and as his house grew so did he."

Sarah Grace said, "Iwo Jima because my grandfather fought in that battle and though he came back, I never met him."

Daniel said, "I found the Iwo Jima memorial very powerful because it was a group of people all fighting and working together for the same thing and that they all shared a common goal."

Raymond said that "Arlington was more inspiring because it made me realize how people give their lives for the safety of all citizens."

Alexander said, "Arlington Cemetery was more inspiring because it is so amazing to see how many people have died for our country."

Topics: 8th grade, Academics, community, family, history, honor, Middle School, Off-campus, the world, Washington, DC

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