Understanding Freedom: The Marching Alaskans - My Family Travels

In July of 2006, Colony High School’s and Alaska’s first and only marching band packed their bags and set off for our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. Once there we spent a few days touring around the city of D.C. Then, on the morning of July 4th we suited up, got our instruments out and marched the route in the National Independence Day parade. 

Millions of people from around the country watched as we made history. For Alaska has never been represented nationally before. Alaska’s governor even made the first week of July Colony High School Marching Band week.

The parade took three hours and we did it in 104 degrees with 100 percent humidity and we all found that we people from Alaska could never live in that heat. During the first two days in D.C and the day after the parade, we went to several monuments and memorials and then drove up to New York City; where we toured and came home. While in D.C, we went to The Lincoln, Korean, Vietnam, and World Wars Memorials and to Arlington Cemetery.

As we walked through the memorials and cemetery, we saw the names of all the brave men and women who had laid their lives down for the freedom of this country. My Grandfather was one of those brave men who fought; he is an alive veteran of the Korean War.

Washington D.C. was an amazing city and I and the rest of the band learned so much about our country from that experience. While we were in New York we toured and went to Broadway and the Empire State Building but we also went to ground zero and the church next door which also got damaged from the 9/11 attack. It was sad to see all the rubbish and to think about all those men and woman who died from terrorist and all the brave soldiers who are laying down their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan for our freedom.

The church had hundreds of cards and letters from children and teens to the soldiers, police and firemen and people of New York and the country. A lot of teens and some adults don’t think much about the things that are going on in their country and the world. Going to Washington D.C and New York was a fun time, but it also was a great experience.

The trip helped give me and my peers a better understanding and appreciation of the cost of out freedom and how good it is to have that freedom.

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