Friday, July 4, 2014

Our Fourth of July Trip

Today we started our day late because we weren't able to get enough sleep last night. Around 9:00 AM we gathered together and ate breakfast at the Holiday Inn restaurant. I decided to get a simple breakfast: waffles and hot chocolate. Our next stop was Whole Foods. We grabbed a couple of snacks and lunch.  We then took the Circulator to the White House. We were hoping to meet President Obama once we reached the White House; however, we were not that lucky. There was a large amount of activity-propaganda- going on outside the White House.
Afterwards, we watched a part of the parade. I enjoyed watching the parade. The band performances were great. We also saw the Washington Monument. It was the tallest building, so it was easy to spot. (however, it took me a while to realize that the tallest building was the Washington Monument.)
Later on we visited the Holocaust Museum. I had mixed feelings. I felt sad at times; however, I also felt angry at what had happened. The museum contained four floors worth of historical knowledge. I was very upset when I learned the extreme cruelties that Hitler had committed. One of the things that caught my attention the most was a drawing by a young girl. She drew a picture of America on one side as a safe haven while she depicted Europe as chaotic and bloody. This revealed the impact the Holocaust had on the younger children who were supposed to be in an age of innocence. Another artifact that caught my attention was the large piles of shoes of those who were put in concentration camps. The smell of the leather was overwhelming due to the large amount of the pair of shoes. It reminded me how big the Holocaust was.
Before existing the museum, a quote by Martin Niemoller really attracted my attention. The quote was, "First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me." I think that this quote really reflects how the majority of the population did not take strong measures to prevent the Holocaust. By the time everyone realized how bad the Holocaust was, it was too late. We spent quite a bit of time at the Holocaust Museum. Then we decided to eat our lunch.
We are taking a picture with the Wright Brothers in the National Space and Air Museum.

After lunch, we visited the National Space and Air Museum. We only stayed there for a short while. We were able to discover the type of gear that astronauts wear; I learned that they have to wear quite a bit of padding to prevent any exposure. We also received the chance to walk into a model airplane.

Martin Luther King Junior Memorial

We were also able to visit three different memorials: the Martin Luther King Junior Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. We also saw the Jefferson Memorial from far away. The Martin Luther King Junior Memorial had a lot of detail as well as the Lincoln Memorial. I also found the Korean War Memorial to be interesting because there was a wall with pictures of soldiers on it. The interesting feature about the wall was that if you went near the wall, it seemed as though the soldiers had no face.
Lincoln Memorial was our last stop. We were able to watch the fireworks from the Lincoln Memorial. It was a great view.
The fireworks were great; this was my first time seeing a firework show, and I really enjoyed it. This was also the first time I was in such a crowded place.
We ended the night by eating pizza for dinner. It was tiring, but worthwhile. (Luckily, it was not that hot today) I really enjoyed my stay at Washington D.C. I had a great time visiting touring Georgetown University as well as the White House and its surroundings; and now I cannot wait to experience Vanderbilt!

The Jefferson Memorial can be seen in the background.

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