Guest BlogWashington D.C.

Washington DC Memorials at Night: An 8th Grader’s Experience

By October 29, 2014 No Comments
Washington DC Memorials

Sydney Bishop, an 8th grade student at St. Paul Lutheran, stands at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC.

About the Author:  This is a guest article by Sydney Bishop, an eighth grader at St. Paul Lutheran School in Millington, Michigan. She is an excellent student, enjoys softball and playing the piano! She experienced her trip to Washington D.C. with her 31 classmates, two of which are her siblings.

I greatly appreciated the time I was able to spend in Washington DC. In the five days we spent in DC, we were able to visit various federal government buildings and learn about how our nation was established and how it continues to function today. We learned detailed information about the great historical figures that built America by visiting memorials dedicated to these individuals. Throughout the trip, the growth of our country was described to us, whether by visiting historic battlegrounds, museums, or other places. Some of my favorite places we visited include the Lincoln, World War II, and Korean Memorials, along with the National Archives.

The sheer size of the Lincoln Memorial fascinated me. This, along with the World War II and Korean Memorials, we visited in the evening. I wasn’t expecting such a large structure, so when I saw it, it was definitely surprising. It was especially amazing at sunset. Bright pinks and oranges from the sun reflected on the Washington Monument and the water in front of it. The memorial was outlined against the beautiful sky. It was a breathtaking sight.

Washington DC Memorials

St. Paul Lutheran students stop for a photo at the Capitol while on their 8th grade trip to Washington DC

The World War II Memorial was a serene place at night. The spectacular water display and stone columns were illuminated. The constant sound of the water flowing was soothing as I walked around, reading the many quotes etched in the walls surrounding the memorial.

The Korean War Memorial was my favorite memorial of all. Again, we viewed this at night. For me, I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is because of this. As you reach out to touch the faces of soldiers cut into the stone, you can’t help but think of who these people were and what they experienced. Another part of the memorial involves statues of men tromping through a grassy area. Their faces show expressions marked with pain, worry, and fear. Because of the elaborate design, the soldiers look eerie, particularly at night. It provides a picture of war; the brave men continue on, knowing they are treading on dangerous territory.

Being so close to the documents that started our nation, and to know how old and fragile they were was a memorable experience. As I gazed at the contents held in the Rotunda: the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence, I imagined the men that wrote this document, them signing it, and our country being established at that very moment.

When the trip came to an end, I walked away with knowledge and memories that would last a lifetime. I enjoyed being able to learn so much about the United States of America, and in the process having a great time with my family and friends.

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