I was glad to have been able to have some free time to go on a tour around Washington, DC during the National Center for Student Leadership conference (NCSL). I felt I have learned more from being there, on that tour, than I’ve ever had in any of my history classes throughout my whole academic career. There is something about being physically there that just makes you retain more information and seek more knowledge about different things. Such as, did you know that George Washington laid cornerstones to the U.S Capitol Building but died before it was finished? Our tour guide was knowledgable and provided us with the substantial amount of information. I mean, I feel as though I can now probably answer some questions on jeopardy! Kidding, kind of.
The only complaint that I have really have about this tour is that we were on a strict time limit; I was pretty upset about not being to walk closer towards the Capitol Building because we had to get back on the bus to get to another stop. I have this weird thing where I want to actually physically touch the building to feel complete. Is that weird? Probably so but it gives me this weird I’m touching history feeling and not being able to walk up there– it made me pretty annoyed.
Ahh, the White House. I remember in fourth grade, I looked up how many rooms there are in the White House and when I learned that there were 132 rooms..my initial thoughts were, “holy cow, I feel bad for the person who has to mop those floors!”. As I got older, my concern for the cleanliness of the house is not as apparent but what is is my desire to live in this house one day. Whether I marry a President or become President– I will live in the White House.
The rest of the tour consisted of walking around different memorial sites and I can’t even begin to explain to you how each site touched me differently. What broke my heart was seeing the Vietnam Memorial wall face to face. Knowing that every name listed is a life gone too soon (or missing in action) is unsettling. The worst is while I’m standing there, teary eyed, staring at these names– I hear a teenage say, “I know veterans are people who are dead….sooooo how do you know which of these names are people who are dead?” I was so mortified by her statement because of her tone of voice as she said it. She was completely nonchalant and did not really seem to care about her surroundings. Her ignorance is truly what scares me for the future because she is our future. TEACH YOUR KIDS!
One of the best things about all this is experiencing DC with some of the best people. My fellow student senates and I were able to get closer because this trip. It’s nice to be able to be with a group of motivated, energetic people that have a thirst for knowledge and life. They funniest bunch of turds. If anyone ever has the opportunity to go to DC– I would definitely recommend taking the tour but also be sure to take the time to walk around and experience it for yourself without the group. There were moments where I wished that I was able to just take a moment to let everything sink in but because there was a time constraint.. it made it difficult.
Pictures by @photographybysarahm