History becomes real for FMS students

History became real for 118 Farragut Middle School eighth-graders when they visited Washington, D.C., for the school’s fourth annual trip.

The students and their 15 chaperones left for Washington on three buses Friday, March 31, and returned home Sunday, April 2, FMS principal Weston Edmonds said.

“It was great,” he said. “Anytime you take that many students over that long of a distance, there is going to be some challenges, but all the kids and chaperones had a great time.”

“It was amazing, honestly,” Leah Evans, a student, said about the trip. “It was very tiring but it was really good.”

Edmonds said it was arranged to help provide a fun event for the eighth-graders toward the end of their time at FMS.

“We always try to tweak and improve it every year,” he said. “As long as there is student demand for the trip we are going to keep doing it.

“We had 118 students attend this year so that seems like a sign the students are having fun and saying good things about the trip.”

The students had plenty to see this year.

“We try to cram in as many locations as possible,” Edmonds said.

Leah said she thought the reason for the trip was “so we could experience all the historical sites and learn more about our country and everything.”

“There was a very strong history component. We’re trying to give them an appreciation for history,” Edmonds said. “I think they learned a lot.”

The group started with a trip to Monticello, home of third U.S. president Thomas Jefferson.

“It was really cool to see what he used, what he did, all his little inventions and stuff,” Leah said. “There was one invention near the door that kept the time.”

The visit to Monticello was followed with a night tour of all the major monuments, Edmonds said.

“What impacted me the most was seeing all of the war memorials because it made me really appreciative of all the people who gave their lives to give me mine,” student Claudia Levi said.

One of those monuments was the Lincoln Memorial.

“You always look at it in movies and books and textbooks, but it’s really cool to be there, standing there before it, and seeing it with your own eyes and experiencing it all,” Leah said. “It was way bigger than I thought.”

The next day students visited the White House, Smithsonian Institution, other museums and Arlington National Cemetery.

“What impacted me the most was there was a moment it was pouring down rain and a guard at Arlington Cemetery was marching back and forth to honor the American soldier,” eighth-grader Anirvdh Venkataraman said. “[The guard] did that for a long time.”

The sightseeing also included seeing the original U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, Historical Williamsburg, Va., Busch Gardens Theme Park and Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

“I did love Jamestown because they would teach you the ways of Indian tribes,” Leah said.