The Greatest City on Earth - My Family Travels

Quarter Finalist 2009 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
Happy and giddy, yet nervous, I  remember walking off the bus into the Capitol of America. While at PatrickHenryCollege’s Strategic Intelligence Camp our leaders took a half-day to visit the backbone of the United States power.

Happy and giddy, yet nervous, I  remember walking off the bus into the Capitol of America. While at Patrick Henry College’s Strategic Intelligence Camp our leaders took a half-day to visit the backbone of the United States power.

            First we visited the Spy Museum. I pinched myself, “Was this a dream?” My eyes, wide open in delight, took in the many attractions of the Spy Museum. At the calling of my name the trance evaporated. Inside, we traveled up an abnormally large elevator. Exiting at the top floor each of us chose a fake identity from the selection given. The tour guides informed us that while we were exploring the spy museum we might be “interrogated” by museum staff. In order to keep my cover, I quickly memorized my fake identification. Although our group rushed through the museum for a lack of time and never got questioned, some of us stayed enthused about our false identities and remained ready to use them at any moment. After our fabulous trip through the Spy Museum the group headed out to eat lunch in outdoor sunlight of Washington D.C.

            Amidst the heat, bugs, and fatigue, I still marveled at the fact that I was in the Nations capitol. All around, laughter emanated from my group. Jokes cracked, memories made, and friendships started as stories were shared about things that happened while inside the museum. After lunch, as we walked down “the mall” we made our way to the Art Gallery. On route stood the Capitol Building, this breathtaking spectacle grabbed my undivided attention; it was so close!

            We were able to snap some photos, but time was limited and after a brief stop we had to continued on. The Art Gallery provided air-conditioned rooms and an abundance of eye catching works of art. After that picturesque experience we hiked over to the National Monument, and surrounding view.

            Walking past the monument truly inspired me. The sun, shining down on the tribute, made it a perfect picture spot. Awed, I captured a touch of its beauty in a few pictures. Nearby, a student called us over to stand up on a ledge.

            As I peered up I saw the home of the President. Squealing with delight, I managed to make out the columns of the White House, even at quite a distance off. The last hours of the afternoon were slipping away, making the World War II monument our last stop.

            Just like most of the visitors there, I hurried around until I found my state’s name, South Carolina, marked on the monument. Before we left that hallowed place, I strolled over to the plaque quoting President Franklin T. Roosevelt about Pearl Harbor: “December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy… no matter how long it may take us to overcome the premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.” So standing there with camera in hand I couldn’t help but capture a photo of the quote.

            I harbored mixed feelings as we marched back onto the bus. I knew many more monuments, museums, and history remained inside the city for me to discover. Gratefully, I realized that, I had been to the Capitol of the greatest country in the whole world. Proudly and resolutely, I vowed someday to return and take in the entire grandeur of Washington D.C., “The greatest city on earth”.


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