Good evening parents!
We are in the final stretch! We have landed in our final location and ready for our last big day. Students are not calling home tomorrow, Sunday, April 28th. We are going to be having a later night for our final few events before getting ready for an early departure. Students will be contacting parents on their way home Monday.
Ally B shared her reflections on monument hopping on day 5:
After we were dropped off in DC, we started at the FDR monument. It was really pretty due to the landscaping, however the water features were not working at the time. Afterwards, we went to the MLK Jr monument and were really inspired by his quotes and messages all throughout the area. Following this, we hopped over to the Washington Area WWI monument. We took the walk then to the Korean War memorial and noticed several local veterans from Lake County who were visiting through the Lake County Honor Flight. This was so such a cool coincidence that we were there at the same time!
We walked over to the Lincoln Memorial and got to hear a marching band that was playing on the steps. I heard that some students actually got to be present for the Star Spangled Banner being played while standing on the steps! We approached the Vietnam Memorial and that had the biggest impact on our group as whole due to seeing how many people sacrificed their lives in that conflict. Next, we found ourselves at the World War II monument and appreciated the symbolism and water features. Not far away was the Washington Monument and learned about how it was built in two separate phases due to costs and that’s why it is two different colors.
We then walked over to the White House and saw a lot of secret service members. After taking pictures, we walked to a souvenir shop and many students bought various souvenirs. Since everyone was super hungry at this point, we went to the Reagan Trade Center. There was a massive food court that we got to pick from sooooo many options. We had to eat quick because we had to hop back on the bus to go to Arlington National Cemetery. We were literally walking outside to go on the trolleys, but it started to lightning and thunder. After waiting to see if the weather would clear, we had to make the decision to cancel our visit as the weather was not clearing. However, as we got back to our bus, we saw that the Lake County Honor Flight veterans had just arrived and parked right next to us. With this opportunity in mind, we decided we want to greet them and cheer them on as they got off the box. We made a tunnel to cheer for them and found out many were from Grayslake and Wildwood! We even greeted a few on the bus and had a great experience showing our gratitude for their service and sacrifices. It was an honor!
We took the bus to Harper’s Ferry hotel. The hotel provided us with dinner and it was an amazing buffet. We got a lot of time to work on our notebooks and get some needed rest for our big hike the next day.
Daniel L is here to report in on his experience in day 6 through Harper’s Ferry!
Daniel: The day started off with a scenic drive to Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park. We hiked from the visitor’s center to the lower town area of Harper’s Ferry. After this we split into “Low Intensity” and “High Intensity” groups for the hike. The “low intensity” group took on a less geographically challenging portion of the trail while the other group took on a more strenuous portion of the trail.
My group ate lunch at the Cannon Ball Deli— really good cheeseburgers. We then proceeded to visit a few shops in town. After this we took a shuttle to the visitors center and went on a two mile hike to Murphy’s Farm. We got to spend several minutes at a scenic view point giving us a good overlook of the Potomac River. We then met up with the other group and drove for about a half hour to a small town ice cream shop called Nutter’s. This place was so busy! The weather today was very warm and nice compared to the snow in Illinois, and we all enjoyed scoops of ice cream in the sun.
Following this, we went to Fairfield Inn for excellent food. We got to meet General Robert E. Lee and his wife, and he told us all about their life together! We finished off the day by driving into Gettysburg and getting to our hotel.