Road Trip
Eighth-graders reflect on D.C.

DC trip 15

Emily Charneski

E. Charneski

If you attended Kings in the eighth grade, there’s a good chance you joined your classmates on a trip to our nation’s capitol.

This year’s eighth-graders kept the tradition alive as the Class of 2020 set out in the early morning hours of Oct. 7 on an eight-hour drive to Washington D.C.

Each day had an itinerary full of activities and places to see. After the students had arrived they visited George Washington’s Mount Vernon as well as the FDR and MLK memorials. For one of the eighth graders, Mount Vernon was a highlight.

It was Natalie Creech’s first time going to D.C. … 

“While there we visited many interesting places, but the places that stuck out the most were Mt. Vernon, Arlington cemetery and the holocaust museum,” said Creech. “At Mount Vernon, the most interesting thing there had to be the tombs of George Washington & Lady Washington. And inside their house it was really cool to see how they had lived.”

For Creech, Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier left lasting impressions.

“At Arlington, the tomb of the unknown soldier stuck out the most to me,” she said. “It was indeed very sad but it was also so interesting and sweet that they do that to represent people who were never recognized in the war. Also all of those graves that are there really broke my heart but also made me realize how much respect I should give for people who have served in the war.”

Creech’s classmate, Ansley Taylor, found other sites just as moving.

“I liked the Holocaust Museum … it was really interesting and sad but we didn’t have much time there. I also really liked the cathedral. It was gorgeous.”

For so many students, it turns out that a favorite part was being able to have a few hours of free time to visit the Smithsonian Museums. This was one of few times during the entire trip that students were able to stray from their assigned groups.

Both Taylor and Creech said that they would like to plan on going back to Washington D.C. with their families for more time there.

“I liked it and it was really pretty and interesting, but it was really rushed so I would really like to go back with my family and spend more time to look at everything,” said Taylor.

Also visited during this year’s trip were the White House, Capitol Building, Lincoln & Jefferson Memorials, Vietnam & Korean War Memorials, the Marine War Memorial of Iwo Jima, and the World War II Memorial.
The itinerary certainly is full and a lot to see in a matter of a few days so it’s no surprise to learn that there are students who want to go back.

The D.C. trip has in a way become a rite-of-passage of sorts for students who come up through the Kings system. Beyond being, for many, a first trip away from home with friends rather than family, the trip provides a broad taste of the realities of U.S. history. Students might take away different memories, but stop an eighth grader to ask about their experience and the trip’s impact becomes clear.

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