With all the negative hype about politicians and our country’s dismal economic stature, it’s refreshing to see that love and pride for our country is strong. I recently journeyed to Washington DC with over 102 6th grade students and their parents on the annual Park Maitland School 6th grade field trip! Some of the many experiences included a trip to Arlington National Cemetery, where our students laid a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier as we all watched in somber awe at the reverence shown by the soldiers there in their ceremonial tribute. At the capital building, we had the unique opportunity to visit the House of Representatives, thanks to our local congressman, John Mica. In the midst of his many meetings and obligations, Congressman Mica spent nearly an hour with our students and parents, giving them a hands-on history of our government, right in the House chambers!
One of the most exciting moments during our visit to our nation’s capital was The White House experience. Our students and parents were very excited to tour this famous residence. Shortly after our arrival, we were surprised to find out that we would soon see the President of the United States in person! We were escorted to the south lawn of the While House as Marine One landed. Within minutes, Barack Obama walked out of the White House and came right in our direction where he stopped and waved to all! He stood there for what seemed like hours smiling and waving before boarding the helicopter. There were tears in the eyes of our parents and pure joy on the faces of each student. Despite their political party of choice, they were filled with pride and honor to have the very special opportunity to be so close to the President of the United States! Patriotism and respect for our country and its history remain a valuable and integral part of our school curriculum as we work to prepare our students to be productive and successful leaders of tomorrow.