Thursday, March 6, 2014

Service To Our Country

Today in DC we got up around 7:30 and headed out for breakfast at 8:00. After our morning bagels, we hopped on the metro and traveled to Arlington National Cemetery. This landmark is the final resting place for many notable soldiers like Audie Murphy, Abner Doubleday, Ira Hayes, Grace Hopper, and John F. Kennedy. Many other members of the Kennedy family are also laid to rest at or near the eternal flame. After reflecting for a few minutes and discussing the sacrifices made by these brave men and woman, we got a grand view of the Capitol skyline and then continued on to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. While at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we were able to witness the Changing of the Guard Ceremony where we watched the guards rotate and move like clockwork clicking their heels at every turn. 

After the cemetery we got back on the metro and traveled towards the National Archives. Right as we were emerging from the train stop, we saw Pennsylvania Ave get blocked off. One minute it was a busy city street, the next it was literally empty like a ghost town. Soon after we realized what was happening and were able to witness President Obama’s motorcade ramble down the street towards the Capitol Building. We finished watching the cars go by in astonishment and then continued on to the Archives. 

In the Archives we were able to see many important documents depicting the history of our young Nation. The most important of these documents were some of our founding documents: The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. 

The next stop for the group was perhaps the most anticipated stop, the Spy Museum. In the Spy Museum we were given two hours to peruse the vast exhibits the site had to offer. The Museum had exhibits on WWII spies, modern ops, ancient Rome, and some notable female spies. But the most popular stop for everyone in the group was without a doubt the James Bond Exhibit. In this part of the museum we were not only able to read and learn about the adventures of James Bond, but we were able to physically participate as well. We were able to test our strength in propelling ourselves on a metal pole, defusing nuclear warheads, and finding and dissecting clues. After our two hours in the Museum we were able to go on our own personal mission. In this action packed hour we deciphered codes, scrambled for hiding spots and helped catch the bad guys. 

Afterwards, we headed over to the Smithsonian Portrait Museum. Here we were able to see all of our Presidents portraits, along with various other priceless pieces of art that gave us a window into American culture. After we got a bite to eat at Gordon Biersch, we then headed back to the Hotel for STUDY HALL!! 

Tomorrow is our final day, and we have another educational and fun day planned before heading off on an airplane to Boston. Some of the stops tomorrow will include the American History Museum as well as some memorials like the Lincoln, Vietnam War, and Korean War to name a few. Tomorrow will be bittersweet; while we are sad that we are leaving we are all very excited to get home and share what we learned. We are also pretty excited to see and hear about all the wonderful things our classmates did on their Project Week trips!

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