Thirty-four students and adults from the Clarke community embarked on an enriching journey over spring break as part of the Clarke DC Club. The group visited iconic landmarks in Washington, D.C., Gettysburg, and Philadelphia, immersing themselves in the rich history and culture of the United States.

Washington, D.C. – The group explored the historic streets of the nation’s capital, visiting numerous monuments and memorials including the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Korean Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Roosevelt Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument. They also toured the Smithsonian museums, marveling at the exhibits that showcase the nation’s achievements in science, history, and culture. A tour through the Capitol made the people’s branch come alive. The group also visited Arlington National Cemetery, where they paid their respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and witnessed the changing of the guard, a solemn and moving ceremony that honors the sacrifice of those who have served in the nation’s armed forces.

Gettysburg – The Clarke DC Club paid homage to the soldiers who fought in one of the most significant battles of the Civil War. They visited the Gettysburg National Military Park, where they learned about the fierce battle that took place on those hallowed grounds.

Philadelphia – In the City of Brotherly Love, the group explored the rich history of the nation’s founding. Travelers visited Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and adopted. They also toured the Liberty Bell, an enduring symbol of American freedom. Additionally, the group explored the Franklin Institute, a renowned science museum that offers interactive exhibits and hands-on learning experiences. They also climbed the iconic “Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, emulating the famous run of the movie character Rocky Balboa and enjoying panoramic views of the city skyline.

A highlight of the trip was a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at George Washington’s tomb at Mount Vernon. Two students, Yossel Contreras and Amy Morales, along with two teachers, Mayor Thomas Kedley and Mr. Anthony Battani, had the honor of laying the wreath as a gesture of respect and remembrance for the nation’s first president.

The trip was not only educational but also a memorable experience for all involved, fostering a deeper appreciation for the history that shaped the United States.