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On April 5th-8th, The June Buchanan School’s junior class traveled to Washington, D.C. to see our nation’s capital. The juniors began their trip with a stop at Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello.  Junior Ashli Sexton stated, “I loved Monticello! It enabled me to visualize how Jefferson lived, and allowed me to see him as an actual person and not just a picture in a history book.”  In addition to being the third president of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was also quite the clever inventor.  Students were in awe of Jefferson’s innovative designs.  Bridgett Howard commented, “I am ready to move in! It was beautiful and it had alcoves and other awesome ideas for houses!”

Next, the juniors visited the U.S. Holocaust Museum and Bureau of Engraving.  Maegyn Bates stated, “The Holocaust Museum truly brought history to life. I felt the mood change as soon as I walked in.” Students visited three floors of exhibits that left some of them in tears.  Later, students received a walking tour of the Bureau of Engraving.  After seeing how each bill is made, sorted, and inspected for circulation, Joshua Slagell noted that “It was a great experience to learn about something that holds our nation together.”

Students visited the U.S. Capitol, National Mall and U.S. Monuments such as Lincoln’s memorial, World War II Monument, the Vietnam Wall, Washington Monument, Korean Memorial, Jefferson’s Memorial, and more.  Tessa Amburgey’s favorite stop during the trip was The Smithsonian.  She commented that, “The Smithsonian was such a fun, wonderful place! I enjoyed myself, and I learned so much about the different subjects they offered.”  Kolby Slone, one of the few class members brave enough to climb to the top of the Washington Monument, was struck by the amazing view from the top.  Kolby commented that “Peering across Washington D.C. from the top of the Washington Monument gave me a whole new perspective on the Capital.”  The juniors also got the chance to meet with Kentucky congressman, Mr. Hal Rogers.

The junior class concluded their trip with a visit to Arlington Cemetery, where they visited the graves of John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy.  Additionally, students saw the Memorial Amphitheatre, Tomb of the Unknowns, and General Robert E. Lee’s home.  Jesse Yeary was very moved by the Changing of the Guard ceremony and commented, “During the Changing of the Guard, it’s so quiet…it’s astounding!”

Ms. Karen Bailey was one of the teachers who accompanied the junior class on this trip.  She commented that, “I think it’s amazing that our students have the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital.  During middle school, students at JBS visit Frankfort to see how our state’s capitol operates, and being able to experience Washington D.C. brings the study of our government full circle.”