CHS juniors and seniors spent their Thanksgiving break in Washington, D.C., experiencing firsthand the Civics and American History lessons they are learning in the classroom. A combined total of 174 students from CHS and SJA rode four charter buses to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, November 20, and returned on Saturday, November 26.
While in the nation’s capital, students visited some of the country’s most historical monuments and museums. The group took an illuminated memorial night tour, which included visits to the Jefferson Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Wall Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial. They also visited Union station, the Pentagon Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the FDR Memorial and the MLK Memorial. Students also explored the Holocaust Museum, the National Archives and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. CHS junior Michael Crick was quick to take it all in. “I thought it was incredible to see places I've only seen in textbooks and movies.”
For Thanksgiving, the group visited the Smithsonian museums and then took in the Kennedy Center's production of Shear Madness, the second longest running play in the history of the American Theater, with over 12,000 performances.
The trip came to a close on Friday, with a solemn visit to Arlington Cemetery, where students viewed the Kennedy graves and then participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers. Reflecting on his experience, CHS junior Thomas Rinaudo noted, “It was a really powerful image standing on the Hill in the Arlington Cemetery. Not only was I among many American heroes, but I could see the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon all in one shot.” Junior Paul Cassisa was also moved by this experience. “On the last day of the trip, when the group visited the tomb of the unknown soldier, I experienced a strong sense of patriotism when watching the changing of the guard. The soldiers carried themselves with the utmost respect for the fallen soldiers.”
While at Arlington Cemetery, students also paid respect to Lt. Michael Scott Lamana, United States Navy, a 1988 graduate who lost his life in the September 11 attack on the Pentagon.