Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mr. David Goes to Washington

David wanted to share his photos of his trip to Washington, D.C. here. I have selected quite a few (from the NEARLY 300 that he took) to give you a sense of what this majestic city is like through the eyes of a 16-year old young man. (David is the second from the left, in the front row.)
Here are some of the things that impressed him.

The Washington Monument, and the views of the city from the top of it,

the Lincoln Memorial,

and David in front of it, by the reflecting pool on the Mall

George Washington's House, Mt. Vernon.

David had a lot to say about the house, the furnishings, the farms, the beautiful setting. No interior photography is allowed, so we checked the website together when he got home, so that he could give me the tour of the interior. It is amazing, and beautiful.

Arlington National Cemetary, where "the ultimate sacrifice" of many is honored; their resting places are eye-opening to a teenager.

the graves of John Fitzgerald Kennedy & Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, with the eternal flame (I am an admirer of theirs, so he took this photo for me);

the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (and the changing of its guard),

the Iwo Jima Memorial,

& a statue of a woman offering the olive branch of peace. That's a powerful image for a military cemetary.

The National Cathedral

and its beautiful vaults and stained glass windows.

They heard a choir sing while they were visiting the cathedral.

The White House, viewed through the fence...

...and from the top of the Washington Monument.

David's group went to see Ford's Theater (the place where President Lincoln was shot). It has recently been renovated.

Afterward, they went to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. When they came out of the restaurant, there were sharpshooters on the rooftops (you can see them if you enlarge the photo here), and the street was blocked. They were told in which direction to leave the area...because the President was on his way to a celebration at the theatre. As they left, this is what they saw:

the Presidential motorcade (David saw the President get out of his limousine)! Pretty exciting, for a group of teenagers from a small town, on their way back from dinner.

From among the 2,500+ students who converged upon Washington D.C. for the North American Invitational Model United Nations, only 55 were allowed to tour the Pentagon. David's group was among them, and it was very impressive to him. They also toured many museums (several of the Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust Museum, International Spy Museum, etc.), the Supreme Court, National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, the Capitol, the Jefferson Memorial, and various war memorials.
This trip provided a priceless opportunity to learn with a small group of committed students and a gifted teacher, as well as to engage with a large group from around the world. We're thankful that David had this experience, to expand his understanding of history and of the democratic process. Thank you, Grandma & Kappa!


Karla W. said...

Great pictures. It sounds like a wonderful trip. I'm glad David had fun and returned home safely. :)

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful photos -- what a wonderful boy you have.

I realize now that your Katie and my Sophie share the exact same birthday. We are connected, however strangely...

Many blessings to you.

Smileygirl said...

What an incredible experience. He will never forget this for the rest of his life. Fantastic photos too, your camera is AWESOME!

Welcome back FROM Washington TO Washington, Mr. David!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful - thanks for sharing - would love to travel there sometime. One more bit of information for David... I read a brilliant book called Colour by Victoria Finlay (about the history of the development of our colourful lives through looking at fashions, the creation of paints, the significance of colours etc - would recommend it thoroughly!) and remember the bit where it said that GW chose the green for the dining room and then was upset that it faded rapidly (as it was a verdigris paint which due to its copper content reacted to the lead white paint on the surroundings) - anyway, the point being that it was only when they restored the house in the 1980s/90s that they matched the colours using hand-ground paints and, apparently, the brightness of the green was revelatory and changed all conventional versions of how houses were decorated in the late 18thC. Sounds amazing!


Busy Bee Suz said...

Great pictures and a wonderful post...tell David we enjoyed it.
I was wondering as I read this...have they repaired the Pentagon since 9/11? Ask Mr. David for me. Ok?
I STILL have never been to D.C. One day we will go and share with the girls some of our richest history.
So glad he had a wonderful cool he was able to see Mr. President...but did Mr. President realize he was in the company of greatness????

Kay said...

Wow...what an amazing trip! :) My daughter's class is going to DC later in the spring but she isn't going to be able to go (diet restrictions.. I know.. bummer!). A friend took her kids to that area for over a month a while back.. but they toured the surrounding areas too. Quite a history lesson for all. So glad David got to have this experience! : )

Laurie Brandriet Keller said...

I had as much fun looking at the pics as he had taking them. Thanks for the vacation!

Tara said...

What great pictures and what a great trip! I went on an 8th grade trip and remember seeing all the stuff David did! I would love to go back and take my boys!

What awesome grandparents he has to allow him to experience this. Tell him thank you for sharing it with all of us.

Anonymous said...

What a great trip and what beautiful pictures! I have a friend that left last week for WA DC and she told me (I didn't realize this before) that WA DC is so beautiful and void of skyscrapers, etc. because no building can be taller than the Capitol. (Except, of couse the WA Monument.) L in AK

Contemplative Photographer said...

These are extraordinary photos; what a gift he has for seeing! (Must get it from his mom)

The Engine of the Family said...

When did David go? My daughter went with her school last summer, she had a great time!

karengberger said...

Engine, he left on the 7th and returned the following Sunday. So glad to hear that your daughter had a good time there, too. It's a wonderful way to learn about history and government, by BEING there. I'm thankful!