Over Labor Day, more than 180 Carmel Middle School 8th graders had the opportunity to visit the nation's capital for the annual Washington D.C. class trip. The group toured the Holocaust Museum, African-American Museum, and Arlington Cemetery, where select Carmel students laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.
It was Social Studies teacher Jared Huhta's 8th time chaperoning the trip. "Seeing historic sites and primary sources in person are so powerful for our students," commented Huhta. "Overall, it was such an educational and fun trip. It helps students appreciate our nation's history. The trip allows me to incorporate the photos and experiences into lesson plans. Plus, we can build stronger student relationships at school. It's truly an incredible opportunity for the Carmel Middle School 8th graders."
Students explored the Gettysburg museum and saw historic sites, including Little Round Top and Culp's Hill. Back in D.C., tour groups visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the White House, and the Vietnam War Memorial, where one student located the name of a family member who served.
One of the most memorable and somber experiences for teacher and department chair Shawn Peters was when his group stopped at the Pentagon Memorial. They happened to be there when a documentary film crew was taping two U.S. Army soldiers from Fort Jackson there with a flag that flew over the rubble of the World Trade Center North Tower during the recovery mission.
The soldiers took the time to speak with the students and share several recovered artifacts from 9/11 with the students.
"The highlight is always watching history come alive in the eyes of curious students," said Peters. "It truly is an experience of a lifetime for students."
Peters now has a complete, firsthand account slideshow presentation from the memorial to use while teaching about September 11th.