LOLHS Takes on Washington DC

March 22, 2017

From Thursday the 16th to Saturday the 18th, you may have noticed a slight depletion in LOLHS’s normal population. That’s because roughly 100 of our juniors and seniors took the opportunity to go on a three-day trip to Washington DC.

The students began their journey to the nation’s capitol early Thursday morning (like, 6:30 am early). Upon arrival, students met with their tour director, and began touring some of the nearby monuments, including the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.

The Lincoln Memorial; Photo courtesy of Lauren Mitchell

Following the monuments, students headed to the Smithsonian American History Museum to explore and learn about the culture and history that has made America into what it is today. Many students were able to connect their current studies in AP US History to exhibits such as “Japanese Americans and World War II” and “American Enterprise.” Students also enjoyed touring exhibits such as “The First Ladies,” where many of the original inauguration dresses of former first-ladies were on display. “Food: Transforming the American Table” was also a popular exhibit, wherein lied an exact replica of Julia Child’s kitchen.

The students then made their way to The White House- well, to Lafayette Square located across from the White House (due to recent breeches in the fence, citizens are no longer able to near the White House Fence, or even step onto Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House).

The White House from Lafayette Square; Photo by Caroline Sirna

Following their visit to the White House, students headed to one of the two locations of the DC staple restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl. Group 2 of the LOLHS students were able to eat at the original restaurant, established in 1958. Upon arrival, students were given a lesson on the establishment’s history, clearly depicted through the hundreds of photos hung on the wall. Celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and even President Obama could be seen among the pictures. Following a delicious meal, students headed back to their hotel to prepare for the next day’s adventures.

The following morning, students and chaperones wasted little time before beginning their newest adventures. The students first visited the US Capitol Building, and were able to meet with Connecticut representative Joe Courtney on the steps of the building. Following this visit, students received a guided tour of the building.

The Capitol Building; Photo courtesy of Lauren Mitchell

After the Capitol Building, students made their way to the National Mall, where they had the option of touring the National Air and Space Museum, or any of the other nearby Smithsonian museums.

Picture taken from inside the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; Photo courtesy of Lauren Mitchell

Following the Smithsonian museums, students traveled to the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum. Students explored the museum independently, each floor a different time period leading up to, during, or following The Holocaust. Most students found touring the museum to be an incredibly eye opening and powerful experience.

Students then visited the World War II Memorial.

Panorama of the WWII memorial; Photo by Caroline Sirna

To finish off Friday night, the group went on the “Spirit of Washington” dinner boat cruise and dance, where they shared a deck with E. O. Smith Highs School of Storrs Connecticut. Students were encouraged to mingle and dance following dinner, and were also allowed to make their way up to the top deck as they traveled the Potomac River.

Sunday morning, students visited the Arlington National Cemetery where they were able to view the 9am change-of-guard ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Following the ceremony, students made their way across the cemetery to the burial place of several members of the Kennedy Family.

Quote by John F. Kennedy as inscribed across from his grave; Photo by Caroline Sirna

Following their tour of the cemetery, students embarked on their seven hour journey back to Old Lyme. Overall, students largely enjoyed the trip; many hope to return to DC one day to visit the remaining museums, landmarks, and memorials.

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