On day one, students arrived at Union Station, followed by a trip to the Grant Memorial to take the traditional eighth-grade photo. Highlights that day began with a tour of the Capitol Building where they met with U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan. They then explored the National Archives where documents such as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are displayed.
Students paid homage to the Lincoln, Vietnam, and Korean memorials before enjoying an evening tour of the Iwo Jima Marine Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Day two began with a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery so students could honor all those who lost their lives fighting for our country. After witnessing the Changing of the Guard, eighth-grade students Arlia Duarte, Elise Eckman, Annie Boniface, and Emily Huggins (Kayleigh Chretien was the alternate wreath bearer) laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after winning an essay contest on the topic of "What the Arlington Cemetery Means to Me" and "Why Being Chosen as One of This Year's Wreath Bearers would be so Important to Me."
While in Arlington National Cemetery, students paid their respects to John F. Kennedy and visited the Challenger Memorial. Later that afternoon, students also visited the World War II and FDR Memorials and toured the National Cathedral before boarding the Odyssey Cruise Ship. In the evening, they enjoyed an elegant dinner cruise down the Potomac River.
On their final day in Washington, students toured Mount Vernon so they could explore the grounds of George Washington’s home. They then visited Ford’s Theater to see firsthand where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. That visit also coincided with the 146th anniversary of President Lincoln's death. Other stops that day included a White House photo stop, and tours of the Natural History, American History, and the National Air and Space Museum.
Poland Middle School eighth-grade students Arlia Duarte, Elise Eckman, Annie Boniface, and Emily Huggins laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after winning an essay contest prior to their trip to Washington, D.C.