Submitted By: Katherine Han
In many schools, they have an eighth grade trip to Washington D.C. I just got back from my school’s D.C. trip. Going to D.C. really allowed me to learn and see a lot more. I went on this trip because I thought it would be a great learning experience and a great opportunity to spend more time with my classmates. We went to many different memorials like the Washington memorial, 9/11 memorial, Vietnam War memorial, etc. Seeing all these memorials in person helped me to understand beyond just the thing the memorial was honoring. Each memorial had it’s own “special features,” and contained the artist’s personal touch of meaning to it. The design of the memorials had a purpose and a reason behind it. The Vietnam War memorial had a design that particularly stood out to me. It’s two long walls made of a dark, polished granite with names of all of the missing, and dead veterans etched into it. Next to each name is either a diamond or a cross. The cross means that the person is still missing, the diamond means the person has passed away in the war. The idea of the polished granite is so that the visitors can see their reflection in the walls. The memorial is built into the side of a hill where the top of the memorial lines the top of the hill. This design allows all the excess noise from the cars on the street to be completely blocked out. This simple memorial contains a lot of meaning and emotion. Being able to see it in person was powerful.
I think it’s important for students to go to D.C. in eighth grade because it’s a great learning experience and a great way to spend some time away from technology and with your friends. Eighth grade is a time where students are really starting to grow, exiting middle school and entering high school. Going to D.C. will broaden their horizons and open their eyes to a lot of things.