A memorable trip to Arlington Cemetery for Vail student | VailDaily.com

A memorable trip to Arlington Cemetery for Vail student

Jillian Kiss
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden, their hands on their hearts, stand with Maj. Gen. Richard Rowe during the playing of "Taps" as they lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON ” Today we went to Bethesda, Md., and heard two interesting speakers ” Mary Eisenhower and Ken Walsh. I had met Mary Eisenhower at the Women’s Leadership Summit at Columbia University, so I did have some background, but never as much as she told us today. She told us about her grandfather, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and how People to People, the Eisenhowers’ nonprofit group, got its start.

The next speaker, Ken Walsh, was really interesting, too. He talked about the journey African-Americans and women have made to gain equal rights, and he told us that Barack Obama’s presidency is historic.

After about three hours of these two speakers, it was over. Although their speeches were fascinating, sitting for about three hours isn’t that comfortable. In the time between the speeches, though, we did have some time to stretch and reflect on the speech we just heard. After the speeches we went to lunch at a really good Chinese restaurant in Chinatown.

After lunch, we went to Arlington National Cemetery and saw the Kennedy graves and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There we watched the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which was really cool. I really respect the soldiers who guard the tomb because they stay outside guarding it no matter what the weather is doing for a whole hour. That is super impressive and incredibly honorable.

It was about 5 p.m. when we left Arlington, so we decided it was time to head back to the hotel. On the way we stopped for dinner at a cute little food court. My friends in my group and I continued to bond throughout the day. We cracked jokes about anything and everything, and enjoyed seeing the sites around Washington while preparing for this historic event.

This day was truly a memorable experience and I can’t wait to continue to get to know my new friends and see what the week has yet to reveal.

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