KALIDA - Each year, the eighth graders from Kalida take a class trip to Washington D.C.
On Oct. 11, at 6 a.m. this year's 42 eighth grade class, four teachers, including Scott Miller and five chaperones loaded up on the bus and headed east.
"We talk about Washington D.C in Social Studies class every year before we take the trip," said eighth grade student, Jeffrey Knueve. "We had a bus tour of Gettsyburg, and in Washington DC, we visited the World War II Memorial, the White House and Lafayette Park, the US Capitol, the Holocaust Museum, Ford's Theatre, Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and George Washington's Home at Mount Vernon."The students were also able to visit some of the Smithsonian Museums like the Air and Space Museum, the American History Museum and the Natural History Museum.
"We saw the Declaration of Independence and Constitution at the National Archives. We also were able to stopped at the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial that is next to the Pentagon. The kids then got to visit the Lincoln, Jefferson, Franklin D Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorials. At Arlington National Ceremony, our class's student council members laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," said Knueve.
The students are granted to take the trip each year to learn about the Nation's Capitol.
When asked what his favorite part of the Washington D.C. trip Knueve answered, "On Thursday night when we got there, we went to the World War II Memorial. When we saw it, it was dark and everything was lit up. So standing at the WWII Memorial you could see down the National Mall and the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial all lit up. Also driving into D.C. that night we saw the White House, Kennedy Center and many more of the famous buildings with all the lights on."
While in D.C., the students had a couple of memorable moments with some foreign tourists.
When we were at the FDR Memorial, we are taking a picture and a group of tourists asked to take a picture with us," said Knueve. "Then while we were at Mount Vernon as we were getting ready to leave, our tour guide saw two people who looked lost. After talking to them he found out that they were from Australia and were in Washington DC to visit their daughter. They had missed their return bus to the city while visiting Mount Vernon. We gave them a ride back into the city. They were very grateful."
The eighth graders arrived back in Kalida at 7 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.
The class came up with a few recommendations for anyone going to Washington D.C.
Go at night to see all the monuments and building lit up.
Visit Arlington National Cemetery and view the changing of the guard.
Make sure to give yourself several hours or more to visit the Smithsonian Museums
And make sure to see the actual flag that Francis Scott Key was looking at when he wrote the "Start Spangled Banner."
Did you know?
Facts the eighth graders learned about Washington D.C.:
Washington D.C. Buildings can't be any taller than the Capitol building and statues can't be taller than 19.5 feet tall which is the height of the Freedom Statue on top of the US Capitol's dome.
Every state has an avenue named after them in Washington DC.
There was only one civilian casualty at the Battle of Gettysburg
Marquis de Lafayette was extremely appreciated by America and was considered a son to George Washington. Lafayette Park across from the White House is named after him.
George Washington was meant to be buried in a crypt below the US Capitol but was buried at Mount Vernon instead.
Arlington National Cemetery was orginally the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, there used to be the remains of an unknown soldier from the Vietnam War, but his remains were dug up and he has been identified and buried in his hometown.
At the National Cathedral, there is a stained glass window called the Space Window that contains an actual piece of moon rock in the middle of the window. There is also a gargoyle on the outside of the building that looks like Darth Vader.