Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

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Middle School Travel Club Trip to Washington D.C.

A day-by-day recap of the Horizon Honors Middle School Travel Club trip to Washington D.C. over spring break.
Middle School Travel Club in front of the National Archives.
Dr. Anne
Middle School Travel Club in front of the National Archives.

Over spring break, members of the Horizon Honors Middle School Travel Club embarked on a five-day trip to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. The students got to explore monuments, memorials, museums, and more on the trip while making life-long memories along the way. This article will go over the activities from each day of the trip.

On the first day of the trip, the students got to explore some of the larger monuments and memorials while battling the rain and cold. The first stop of the day was the White House, followed by Lafayette Square and the Black Lives Matter Plaza. The students then went to the National Archives to take a look at the founding documents of the United States. After lunch, the students took a walk around the Capitol Building before going to the Library of Congress, where they were caught in the rain for half an hour while waiting to enter the library. Students visited the Smithsonian Museum of American History afterwards. Following dinner, the students went on a night tour of the National Mall, which includes the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, and the World War I Memorial. After the night tour, it was off to bed with day two to follow.

The following morning, students started their day by visiting the Arlington National Cemetery. There, they visited the graves of soldiers, along with some other famous Americans. They went to President John F. Kennedy’s grave, as well as other well known figures like boxer Joe Louis and the Astronauts who died in the Challenger incident. They even got to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After, the students had lunch and were swooped off to George Washington’s house, Mount Vernon. They visited the preserved part of this property opened to the public. There, they saw the house he lived in after the war, the surrounding plantation, the memorial honoring his slaves, and his tomb. After Mount Vernon, the students ate dinner, then went back to the hotel to end day two.

Students started off the third day of the trip by visiting the Jefferson Memorial, which overlooks the Tidal Basin and the National Mall. Following this memorial, they arrived at the Supreme Court building and got to see the judicial branch of the government. Moving swiftly on, students toured the Capitol building, where they saw the many wonders of the Capitol, such as the rotunda, an iconic dome structure featuring many murals, statues, and paintings. After lunch, the students headed to the next location, a solemn, but educational place: the Holocaust Memorial Museum. After exploring the museum, many felt mixed emotions of sadness, anger, and grief. Students then visited a museum that lightened the mood, the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History (AAH). The AAH Museum highlights the part of history that was written out, reminding visitors that the museum is a place of meaning, memory, reflection, and hope for the future. Afterwards, students made their way to the next memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. The memorial featured quotes from MLK which were truly inspiring. After a short walk, they saw the Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial, where during certain times of year water runs through the memorial creating a peaceful environment and an important commemoration to FDR. After dinner, the students made it to the last stop of the day, the Pentagon 9/11 memorial. The memorial commemorates those who passed away on the plane, with fin-shaped benches that face the Pentagon, while victims that passed away in the Pentagon building’s benches face away. After a long day of exploration, students settled in for sleep for their next day of traversing Washington D.C.

Day four began with a trip to U-Street, a historic street and area with rich African-American history. The students walked the street, seeing the old buildings and murals and experiencing the culture of U-Street. They also came across the African-Americans of the Civil War Memorial. Following the U-Street trip, the students arrived at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, where they got to see all sorts of historic and modern aircraft and spacecraft. After Air and Space, the students made a quick stop at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, before going to the International Spy Museum. This museum is a new, highly interactive museum that teaches visitors about all aspects of being a real spy working for nations or organizations. The spy museum had a whole spy side-quest during the walkthrough, too. After the spy museum, students made their way to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The students got to explore the iconic museum , and got to see the well known dinosaur fossils, amongst other natural history artifacts. The World War II Memorial was the next stop on the itinerary. After paying their respects, they ate dinner, then went to the Capitol Wheel, a Ferris wheel located in National Harbor, Maryland. The trip to the wheel had been delayed because of the strong winds throughout the visit, and day 4 was the first break from the winds.

On the final day of the trip, students took a photo stop at Ford’s Theatre before a second visit to the American History Museum, where they explored more. Then, they grabbed their luggage and headed to the airport. Later that night, they arrived in Phoenix, Arizona. Much was learned and feet were sore, but the students reported having a lot of fun and are looking forward to future school trips.

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