Late last night, the eighth graders returned to ECS from their class trip to D.C. We were there for four days, where we went, nonstop, from pre-sunrise to post-sundown everyday. We were blessed to have our same tour guide again, Miss Carol. She has so much knowledge, is good with the kids and has a way of bringing history to life. As a group, we always knew where we were going as we followed Miss Carol holding up her red umbrella with a yellow path sewn around the top of it. She told the kids to "follow the yellow brick road." The students really enjoyed her. We were also blessed to get Kenny, our coach driver who is also a licensed tour guide. He related so well with the kids. I know the kids will miss them both.
Our students were so excited for this trip as they soaked up the information presented to them everywhere they went. Some of the highlights of our travels were Arlington National Cemetery where our students laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Gettysburg, the Holocaust Museum and the Veteran's Memorial. I was so moved to see the reverence of our kids at the memorials but especially the Holocause Museum. They really took their time to diligently read about this horrific event and the philosophy behind it. Tears in their eyes and down their cheeks were not uncommon. There was an appropriate mix of anger and empathy, resulting in a solemn demeanor from the group for a while after the visit to the museum. This visit made the holocaust a tangible event that the kids could understand.
The days were long and the information plentiful. The students and chaperones did a great job of pressing forward. After arriving in Louisville, after a two hour delay I might add, a gentleman from our flight sought me out at the baggage claim. He walked up to me and stuck out his hand and said, "I wanted to say that this is one of the best mannered groups of kids I have ever seen. I just wanted to tell you that." I thanked him for the kind words and he walked away. This man's comment was true of the entire trip. This group, including chaperones, were wonderful to work with. Information was learned, friendships were strengthened and memories were made that we will always remember.