Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue - My Family Travels

Someone once stated, “Progress is the activity of today and the assurance of tomorrow.” One that lives in the great United States of America can look around and see that this quote applies to our country directly. This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity of winning an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. through the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Essay Contest. I seen first-hand the progress our still-evolving country has made over the some two hundred years that it has had a structured government. This trip to Washington D.C. has made me a more mature and patriotic American because of the many friends I made, the amazing experiences I had, and the unforgettable sights and monuments I witnessed.

First, my adventure to D.C. would be lacking sufficiently without all of the wonderful, meaningful friendships that I made on the way. I really bonded with the fellow teens of which I shared the long, monotonous bus rides with. However, I attained friends from all over the United States like Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Kentucky, to name a few. I still keep in touch with several; some of which I talk to at least once a week.

Second, my trip was packed with incredible, numerous encounters that I will never forget. When we left Nashville, Tennessee, we headed for our nation’s capitol with mixtures of uncertainty and excitement present in every lucky participant of the trip. One can say that our anxiousness heightened with the breaking down of one of our tour buses. After a few hours of repairing and waiting, we headed back on the road with a memory that marked the trip for a lifetime. However, of all the experiences, the means of transportation back to Tennessee was the most outstanding. Indeed, flying was a breathtaking way to travel that I had never experienced before.

Last, a trip to Washington D.C. is not at all complete without seeing the remarkable sights and monuments the city has to offer. All some one hundred eighty Tennessean essay winners visited attractions from the Smithsonian Museums to Arlington National Cemetery. When visiting the war memorials, it was truly chilling and heart wrenching to think of how many sacrifices were made over the years to allow people like me to have the freedoms that I enjoy and take for granted. Along with the more thoughtful places, like the Holocaust Museum, we also toured some of the more light-hearted attractions like cruising the Potomac River on a yacht, exploring Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and eating at the world famous Hard Rock Café. Together, all of D.C.’s sites shape the city of which everyone identifies it.

Having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour Washington D.C. has shaped me into a more proud and developed American through the meaningful friends I made, the memorable occurrences I went through, and the momentous places and attractions I went to. Seeing directly the place that legislatively runs America made me realize how this country has progressed over the some two centuries. I am sincerely thankful to have taken part in this trip that the Tennessee Electric Cooperatives sponsored. And to witness the progress this great country has made assures me of what tomorrow has in store.

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