We made excellent time traveling from Columbia to D.C. We stopped for lunch just outside Richmond and made it to Mount Vernon at 2:30 p.m. We spent a little over two hours at Mount Vernon touring Washington's home and grounds. It was a gorgeous day with great views up the Potomac. After Mount Vernon, we ventured downtown and ate at the National Place. From there, we had a nighttime tour of the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial.
We started our day with an excellent devotion led by our 8th grade leadership team on the definition and biblical application of leadership. We then traveled to Arlington National Ceremony, where we watched the changing of the guard ceremony and four of our students participated in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. [See the full video on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcPZHOHIUio.] We then headed over to the Bureau of Engraving and saw how they make our paper currency. After that we walked through the Smithsonian Botanical Gardens, Native American Museum, and Air and Space Museum. We wrapped up our day at the Washington Monument and WWII Memorial.
As we were leaving, about to load up on the buses, a group of veterans unloaded off of two buses and the students began clapping for them as they walked into the memorial. Several shook the veterans' hands as they walked by. The veterans truly appreciated the gesture and many wanted to take pictures with our group. The students quickly saw how their actions meant so much to those men who fought for our country. It was truly an amazing thing to see.
We started our day at the Capitol Building with the opportunity for our students to meet and take a picture with Congressman Joe Wilson (2nd District of S.C.). After meeting Congressman Wilson, Senator Tim Scott's office set us up with a tour of the Capitol. Once the tour was over, we made our way to the American History and Natural History Smithsonian Museums. We then traveled over to the White House. We finished the day off with dinner at Union Station and a night tour around the Tidal Basin (Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, and MLK Jr. Memorial).