WASHINGTON, DC — For the first time in three years, Flushing Middle School was able to take students on a fun trip to Washington DC
On May 26, 122 students, nine staff and 20 parents embarked on the four-day tour of DC and other tourist stops near the nation’s capital. Students and escorts visited many of the DC area‘s most famous landmarks and historical destinations and arrived home in the early hours of May 30, just in time for Memorial Day.
Day 1 of the trip included a visit to Luray Caverns in Luray, VA – home to the largest cave system in the eastern United States. From there, students went on a packed sightseeing tour of top DC attractions including the National Archives, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Ford’s Theater, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
Students also posed for photos in front of the White House and saw the World War II Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the Korea War Memorial.
Other destinations on the trip included Arlington National Cemetery, Mt. Vernon (home of George Washington), the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History and the Medieval Times Dinner show in Baltimore – featuring jousts and delicious feasts fit for royalty (sans paraphernalia, of course).
FMS teacher Steve Powers, one of the main coordinators of the trip, said the students enjoyed the historical sites and took with them a greater appreciation for their nation’s heritage.
“The journey is education-based and correlates with our history, social studies and science curriculum across the board,” said Powers, eighth grade science teacher at FMS. “It’s also a good patriotic experience, reminding students that we deserve our freedoms and that we should never take them for granted.”
One of the more celebratory stops on the trip was Arlington National Cemetery, where FMS students Keira Dumas-Knieper, Aidan Gaskin, Luke Raquepaw and Charlotte Weaver had the opportunity to attend the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. All four students selected for the award submitted written essays on why they should be eligible for the cemetery wreath-laying task and what it would mean for them.
“Before the trip, our students who are interested in the wreath-laying write about the topic and submit essays, and the top four voters are nominated to lay the wreath,” Powers said. “Often students write about the freedoms they value most, or the sacrifices their own families have made over generations to bring freedom to all of us.”
Flushing Middle School has hosted student field trips to Washington DC for over 35 years, but had to cancel the last two trips due to COVID-19.